New York University Arts Centre, Abu Dhabi
Nufonia Must Fall started life as a graphic novel by Canadian DJ Kid Koala and he has now taken it on the road. Nufonia we are told (after an opening game of picture bingo) ‘stems from a latin word, Nufon… which is No Fun spelt backwards’. The aforementioned marsupial turntablist takes centre stage providing all words (such as they are), sound effects and recorded music. The Afiara Quartet provide strings and percussion and around the main stage are some ten tiny sets each manned by puppeteers which are then filmed and thrown up onto a large back drop in monochrome. The story is as old as time… robot meets girl, robot falls in love, robot makes shocking discovery. It’s funny, touching and clever and features the best robot since Wall-e. The puppets and scenes are wonderfully naive and reminded me of Lost In Space which as a point of reference acts as a great leveller for the multi generation audience. My eleven year old absolutely loved it and (in an all too rare moment of concise profundity) declared it to be ‘a very interesting and clever romantic comedy’.