Green Ginger, Bambi - The Wilderness Years

Review in Issue 12-4 | Winter 2000

Green Ginger’s reworking of the Bambi story is a rite-of-passage initiation into the hell and torment of adolescent boyhood. Poor little Bambi lives in a wasteland caravan with his mum and a kid brother who’s not quite all there upstairs. Mum gets shot, Bambi sets off on a pilgrim’s progress through the land of junkies, joints and fumbled first sex with his mate’s girlfriend. Life is hard and there’s no way out, but occasionally some fun to be had along the way. But where’s a boy’s father when he needs him most?

Aimed fairly and squarely at the late-teen market, Bambi draws its references from contemporary subterranean pop culture – a postmodern mix of nihilism and ironic humour. Although the show’s publicity avoids the ‘p’ word, puppetry is an important part of the process – together with film, sound and some very nice projected graphics. Visually, it is a feast of hi-tech meets low-tech beat imagery. The use of pre-filmed shots as mock-ups of closed circuit TV gives the show the darkly surreal feel of Chris Morris’ disturbingly funny TV production Jam. Like Faulty Optic, the company use film to give a different, unsettling perspective on the puppets that we are seeing on stage.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I enjoyed Bambi, but I know I wasn’t the target audience – my teenage son loved it. Between their last production, Slaphead, and this one, the company have moved too far from gothic darkness to real doom and gloom for my taste, but the skill and energy of Green Ginger are indisputable.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-4
p. 26