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Larry Litt


"The Digger: A Subterranean Allegory"

The Digger: A Subterranean Allegory
Produced by Inkfish
Designed and Directed by Michael Kelly
Script, Lyrics and Projected Poetry by Brian Snapp
Sound Design by Joemca

At La Mama ETC, 74a East 4th St, NYC
Now to April 10th
Reviewed Apr 1, 2016 by Larry Litt

From the opening moments of "The Digger" when the lights go dim I could tell this was going to be a very different kind of puppetry theater. The background set is a beautifully designed, multi layered screen where calculated projections of words and images change the sense of location, time and aspect of the action. We’re now in indefinite space awaiting who knows what.

As I stared at the intriguing back drop Mike "donk" Weiss dressed as a miner ambled across stage singing ballads to the Earth and the courageous men and women who go down into it searching for the elusive source of their desires. What awaits them is the essence of The Digger. Weiss doesn’t go down into the hole.He sings about it. He is there with them as are we, going deeper in the psyche and essence of our Nature.

Profoundly mystifying interwoven story lines by Brian Snapp eerily meet to tell the Digger’s tale. Based in part on Dante’s "The Inferno," the ancient tale "Epic of Gilgamess" and Newton’s "The Emerald Tablet," the cross references and personal tragedies of The Digger, Beatrice, and Leviathan from the Ninth Circle of Hell are there to make us aware that throughout history writers have been obsessed with holes in the ground that lead men to riches but just as often lead to disaster.

However in "The Digger" it was the startling visuals that captured my attention and imagination. Jim Henson gone insane from some nightmare I hope I never have. The fantastic puppets designed and created by Mike Kelly set new standards for puppet theater. I look forward to seeing more of his bizarrely fantastic work.

Joemca’s sound design set another mental state of relief from the defined theater space. I was shifted, thrown and rebounded by contemporary music and sounds that matched the extraordinary visuals effects.

Perhaps the moral of "The Digger" is "Don’t go digging into holes where you don’t belong. Enjoy life as it comes to you.” Good advice.


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