Twenty-first Century Spin On Lovecraft’s Cthulhu
“Shit! Fuck! Shit!” was Professor Derleth’s boisterous outburst in the beginning reel and the later act. Cthulhu: A Puppet Play presented at 14 Pews, was a humorous yet grotesque play that incorporated live instruments, sound effects and film in addition to the puppet and puppeteers.
In the beginning, Professor Derleth purchases an object that he then researches intensely as the power of the object unfolds. On the brink of insanity, the perceptions of reality become distorted as the beckoning of Cthulhu begins to consume him. This tale combines both elements of dark humor and a dreadful fear of the unknown. As the play proceeds, suspense is wretched; research of underwater cities and sexual rituals with themes of condemnation and suicide as the rat fink reminds the Professor, “He’s Coming!” The Professor tries to destroy the object and possibly himself in order to end the madness.
The play’s unique setting was held in an old chapel which granted an intimate encounter set with pews and dim lighting. Unlike conventional puppet plays, the puppeteers could be seen throughout the performance, giving it a more personal feel that immediately established a connection between the audience and the characters. The film clips accompanying the live performance revealed how different mediums can reflect the tone and style carried throughout the play.
The creators are currently anticipating Catastrophic Theater to pick up the show for a month of performances Fridays at midnight.