What happens when Paloma, a castaway, shares a desert island with the inaugural Grim Reapers’ Staff Party? She must dance the line between certain death and uncertain Deaths.
Paloma and the Do of Death is a marionette comedy, performed in a small theatre constructed from recycled timber, fabric and driftwood. While holed up, north of Greymouth, Tom Tuke began constructing a suite of puppets out of driftwood and derelict from the coast. In the year since, he has constructed a motley cast of characters - using shirt sleeves, salad servers, seashells, shipping pallets, pool cues, frayed rope, Countdown bags, fishing line and an old doll’s boots.
When Paloma, cast adrift from her cruise ship, washes up on a two-palm island, her time is, surely, up. Thinking she is hallucinating, a group of black dots appear in her vision. As they get bigger, she realises it is no mirage, this is a pack or grim reapers, quickly bearing down on her. Hunkering down, Paloma sees them fly overhead, land, and begin putting up a volleyball net. One starts shaking a cocktail. This is not a usual visit from Death, this is their first ever weekend off.
Watch as Paloma and most the Deaths form a tentative diplomatic alliance, only Death by Sharks - who hasnt completed his KPIs, could disrupt the situation. He lurks in the shallows, needing one more soul, to join the party, and, dance the Dance of Death.
Tom Tuke is has a background in education, radio and visual art. Paloma and the Do of Death represents his first foray into the world of puppetry. The plot stems from a radio play written for a show with Hapori in Auckland 2015.