Creating a world within your own mind and bringing it to life was the art and imagination of Albert Fisher. Losing his wife, Lainie was painful and brought him into his own form of doldrums. The world of fantasy and imagination can often allow someone to feel alive and refreshed and by creating the puppets that would come to life and actually allow readers to see them in person, hear their voices and interactions makes this story quite unique. Working with his wife was his catharsis or freedom from pain and yet declining into his own form of depression Albert decided to reignite his passion and by putting together a new play and using specific puppets as the stars. In order to make some money he does short performances in different venues and allows his puppets to overtake him at times making readers believe and Albert that they are real and not fictional characters within the confines of his mind. One character is Sir Galahad and Fisher created him with a sense of humor and sends him in many new directions. The show would feature him, Sammy the Fool, Lady Mara and you often hear the characters interact making them seem more than just inanimate puppets but almost humanlike with human flaws and qualities.
Galahad speaks to the priest about the Holy Grail and wanting to find it as the priest tries to define its meaning but Galahad keeps asking more questions. Albert faces so much turmoil within himself that hoping to justify his reasons for creating these characters, giving them personalities and attempting to rid himself of his depression but can he? Aging is not easy to accept is Albert protecting himself through Galahad?
Can you recreate a life for yourself with that of inanimate figures that you’ve created personas for? As the puppets come to life within your mind and reality can you climb out of your doldrums and depression and see the world as it really is. Alfred fisher laments over the loss of his wife, Lainie. Distressed and depression setting in he uses his puppet shows and their personalities to engulf his mind and restart his career and his life. But the puppets overtake him and they almost become real and not imaginary as Galahad and Sammy’s voices can be heard and their attachment to Alfred lifelike.
In each scene you hear the voices of the puppets as they reenact what Fisher wants the audience to see an yet Sir Galahad has his own way of doing things as opposed to Sammy the Fool who takes on different roles and voices Sir Galahad even gets married and lives in a ranch style castle and has a wife and yet still hunting for the Holy Grail and never losing his faith in his quest. At times you feel that Fisher is living his life in the real world as Galahad in his created one. Fisher needs a reason to wake up in the morning and forge ahead and yet at times his visions through his characters seem like he’s living in another dimension and time in order to focus and live in the present.
Living through his puppets and hearing the dialogue between The Lost Boy and the other characters he created, you can tell that Fisher became one in the same with them. Even his Lost Boy character and his interactions with him let’s readers know a lot about his past in the present.
Interplay between the characters and Fisher’s goal to recreate his thoughts and his imaginative skills plays both in his view of reality and his imaginative stories.
With Jeanette creating the costumes he began to come alive but for how long? He wanted her in his life but in reality what she was happened to be another illusion and there for the start of the show but leaving for greener pastures. Wanting acceptance, wanting success the authors share the many sides and colors of each character portrayed in the final scenes or during the show. At times Alfred questions his own motives, actions and this comes through as we hear the Fool change forms and personalities, Lady Mara and even Sir Galahad when searching for the Holy Grail or in Alfred’s case his life without Lainie even though she appears as a figment in his mind for some reason he can’t seem to separate reality from fiction.
A show created by one man and hopefully enjoyed by many, as he wanted the entire run to be packed with audiences that wanted more. The dialogue between the characters is created in italics so that we can separate the present from his imaginative scenes graphically depicted and quite vividly described, as are the costumes and the character’s appearances. Through Galahad we see many sides of Albert and many forms of battle armor that he uses to hide behind himself and hoping not to feel injury or pain. The descriptions of the facial parts of each puppet are expressive and told through their eyes as if Alfred wants the world to see himself through the eyes of each one of the puppets changing at will.
Join Albert for the show on Sept7 and hear the applause and see whether Sir Galahad’s quest for the Holy Grail is successful and hear the words, understand the strife and even the party he attended with friends where he tries to come alive yet does not. Even Mara, his daughter encourages him to move ahead yet we hear from her only in emails or letters never in person or with a phone call to really get to know her even more. Galahad marries Mara just like his daughter Mara and adds Bobby a young boy who is separated from his parents and needs direction. Sammy is a central figure and changes personalities and faces as he attempts to deal with the world as Albert wants him and at times faces difficult decisions and dilemmas and readers wonder why Mara turns into the Fool to join Galahad search for the Holy Grail.
The show begins, Jeanette comes to help dress the puppets as reality and fiction intertwine. Things happen and her true personality comes to light and when Fisher realizes the story created on stage just might be his autobiography in real life. As the novel draws to a close and audiences realize that they can see the puppeteer operating the actors or puppets on stage, the world he realizes: in those few seconds, final audience, final show, he knew with the shock of epiphany-but an illusion deeply felt. He had touched belief. Belief wasn’t a constant thing. It wasn’t a state of bliss or the rock star surfing backward over his fans like seaweed on the breakers. It was a might mosquito buzzing in your ear. However you tried kill it, the damnable thing returned. You had to depend on that.”
Where would he go next? What would his next quest be? Where will life take Albert Fisher? Will he find his own form of the Holy Grail? Can anyone really control the lives of others? Did Albert control his cast of characters who was it the other way around?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/MJ magazine
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