puppets

What happens when a coworker goes rogue? Specifically, what happens at a Canadian network’s children show when one of their clowns goes rogue? Does Not Play Well with Others, written and performed by Pick of the Fringe winners Adam Francis Proulx and Kira Hall, explores how the aftermath of a PR crisis involving a tropical fruit effects two puppeteers.

There is a lot going on in this show and since props feature heavily, let’s start with them. The puppets themselves are for the characters of Oomph and Bae, they are the stars of the show within the show and give Hall...

The Middle of Everywhere is exquisitely choreographed and impeccably timed. This is theatre at its finest. And it’s even a family friendly show! Don’t miss out on The Middle of Everywhere, the epitome of the Fringe’s motto to “celebrate different!”

Before seeing the play, I had no previous knowledge of the production team’s characteristic style and iconic large fixed expression masks, or even much experience with physical theatre. I was overwhelmed at how believably the Wonderheads team brought two enormous, expressionless heads...

George, the periwinkle-colored old man puppet from the jury, accompanied Adam Francis Proulx to the Fringe Box office Friday afternoon to drum up some interest for his performance here in Vancouver. Judging by the line-up at 10:30 pm on his first night, I would say he managed that. The acclaim he gained at the Montreal and Toronto Fringe earlier this year might have something to do with it as well.

Proulx is an excellent and versatile actor. He characterized all 12 jurors...

An amalgam of stick puppetry, spoken word poetry, beat boxing, monologue and slightly absurdist dialogue, this entire show felt like a non sequitur.

I’m not sure I would call this a play. It feels more like a performance piece. There isn’t a plot. There are no clear characters. There’s a male stick puppet and a female stick puppet, but who they are or what they want is not obvious. Near the end of the show we’re all given chocolate chip cookies (which I was confused by...

On the night I saw Dr Egg and the Man with No Ear the audience was resolutely adult. This is a shame because this Australian production, which was re-staged recently in Chicago and is currently on at the Cultch, would be a great introduction for young people to the power of theatre to create beautiful and evocative imagery. The visual flair that the production exhibits – which ranges from crisp projections (animated by Jamie Clennett) through to puppets (built by Graeme Davis) to the clever set and costume (designed by Jonathon Oxlade), all supported by a wonderful musical score (by...

Dr Egg

If you have ever considered volunteering in a developing country, see Alice Nelson’s play, Elephant in Zulu.  Really, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could use this play as an orientation for folks who want to leave the safety and affluence of North America to do good.

The talented Alice joins ‘Clowns without Borders’ and travels to the northern part of South Africa to bring laughter to children and the grannies that care for them.  Here she brings her experiences back to the audience for consideration.

Her journey is as huge as an elephant and the shit that happens is as heavy.  Although...

Elephant in Zulu

This condensed and selective bio piece about English bawdy poet Algernon Swinburne is a theatrical delight full of surprises, imaginative puppetry, and authentic tenderness.

Focusing on his troubled and backwards-looking love life, Kissing Swinburne presented by Lady Trevelyan’s Circle manages to turn the sometimes yawn-worthy world of English poets into a guilty...

Kissing Swinburne proving that perverts and puppets are a natural

Grandma Noda’s Tigers, currently on as part of Victoria's Uno Fest, is one of those special little shows where everything seems to work supernaturally well. Never before have I seen a house so full on a pay-what-you-can opening night. Actor/writer Chris Little (who co-wrote the show from his wife Regina Fitzgerald’s first draft) seemed pleased with this, too – and quite deservedly.

The “family friendly” label is accurate, but it also might be selling the show short. If you’re out renting movies, “family friendly” usually signals something thematically harmless, perpetually upbeat and wholly uninteresting for anyone twelve...

Christopher Little

It’s always a treat when adults and children alike can find joy in a live theatrical production, and Grandma Noda’s Tigers certainly delivers with this inventive and delightful piece of theatre currently on as part of the Uno Festival.

This is the story of a Japanese businessman who dreams of expanding his empire - but his grandmother stands in the way. The play is told using puppets made of found objects…a method referred to (fittingly) as Found Object Puppetry, and it is quite an innovative way to express this memorable tale.

Performed and co-written by Chris...

Christopher Little do his grandma thing

In this Preposterous Fable, young Abigail, “the girl with the greatest teeth in the world” embarks upon a journey. This is no ordinary sojourn mind you. This one is fraught with emotional sea monsters, melodiously evil pirates, a truly wet ocean tempest and conniving boat thieves just to name a few of the perils she must face. Of course life for Abigail used to be much easier. Her smile lit up the world, she sang with the birds, danced with the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. People would do anything for the young darling as long as...

The Tooth Fairy by some new Old Trouts

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