Theatre has a kind of charm that makes it so different from cinema or television. The performers and the audience are physically situated in the same confined space to experience the same story without the boundary of the screen. This setup allows the audience to imagine without restrictions.
Papa by Théâtre de la Feuille doubles up as a mask theatre and a physical theatre — with their faces covered by the masks, the performers are dedicated to leading the audience by using body movement without the aid of facial expression or speech. This form of theatre provides a greater room for imagination and pondering. Audience are invited to identify with the characters or the scenes, they can even see them as someone they know, therefore, everyone can have their very unique experience and interpretation.
“Today, his son and daughter-in-law hand-in-hand, together with him, as they arrived at the elderly’s home. He looked at them longingly; as they turned away firmly with a sigh of relief.” This is the moment when Papa, the character with dementia, says goodbye to his son. In the retirement home, Papa feels like having hopped on a time machine seeing the flashback of his previous memories. Although he wants to call his son, he either forgets his number or there is simply no one picking up the phone. Finally, with the help of other residents in the retirement home, he manages to escape during a chaotic situation. However, once he is outside, he has no idea where to go next.
The most impressive part of the play is certainly the heartful and skillful movements of the performers which make the characters so vividly alive. The imagery of door is as well not to be overlooked. Every door opens up a new possibility of the world of theatre; through moving, assembling, opening and closing the door, the crew creates various realms for the audience to dwell on. After all theatre itself is as well a door, which opens up eras and memories that are long forgotten.