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Puppet Jam - Melbourne Fringe Review

Home > Melbourne > Theatre Reviews | Theatre | Festivals | Circus
by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event: -
A snake wrangler, Kate Bush, a speaking jam jar and drag
No topic is off-limits in this show. If you need a good laugh, go and see Puppet Jam at The Rattlesnake Saloon Carlton in the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Book your tickets here.

Puppet Jam, love, death, puppets, Puppetsmithery, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Anna Thomson, sticky, clowns, drag, workshop, rattlesnake saloon, Carlton
Puppet Jam with speaking jam jar - photo by Jarryd Bravo


Arriving at The Rattlesnake Saloon on Lygon Street, there is a queue out the door. Eventually we are led through a corridor, like a speakeasy entrance to a back room, possibly an old Bordello for the Puppet Jam performance.

Puppet Jam, love, death, puppets, Puppetsmithery, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Anna Thomson, sticky, clowns, drag, workshop, rattlesnake saloon, Carlton
'Ghosties with Toasties' - photo by Jarryd Bravo


Directed by Philip Millar and performed by Allanah Safarin, Ben Anderson, John Clarke, Jhess Knight, Jess Davie, Jet Phoenix, Anna Thompson and special guests, we are entertained by a variety of different puppets from glove puppets to knee puppets, marionettes, human puppets, finger puppets and a giant speaking jar of jam, there is never a dull moment in this show of surprises.

Puppet Jam, love, death, puppets, Puppetsmithery, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Anna Thomson, sticky, clowns, drag, workshop, rattlesnake saloon, Carlton
'The Rat' - photo by Jarryd Bravo


The fun begins with poetry and wordplay about 'ghosties who eat toasties' and attack the jam jar on a full moon. There is a giant rat who performs cabaret, a couple who go on a movie date with a tragic ending, a deadly snake wrangler who succumbs to a venomous white tail. A giant world wearing boots dances for us and couple of drag queens take over the catwalk and strut their stuff. There's a great soundtrack to keep the audience clapping along, and an amazing Kate Bush performance.

Puppet Jam, love, death, puppets, Puppetsmithery, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Anna Thomson, sticky, clowns, drag, workshop, rattlesnake saloon, Carlton
'Drag Queens' - photo by Jarryd Bravo


How many humans does it take to manage one puppet?

Sometimes up to three or four human puppeteers. It takes great skill to manipulate many moving parts and create dialogue, sound and movement and The PuppetSmithery is a well-oiled machine.

The work of The PuppetSmithery is both mesmerising and chaotic as we experience new worlds with unique problems and uncanny solutions only puppets could solve for mere earthlings.

It's a great night of fun as Puppet Jam pushes the boundaries from the silly to sublime. You can't get more Fringe than a puppet show with elements of circus, cabaret and burlesque. So head along and watch human try and control puppet behaviour!

Puppet Jam, love, death, puppets, Puppetsmithery, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Anna Thomson, sticky, clowns, drag, workshop, rattlesnake saloon, Carlton
Puppet Jam

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*Mistress of Culture Vultures was invited as a guest
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Why? Love, Death...Puppets!
When: 8.15 pm
Phone: 0422 424 129
Where: The Rattlesnake Saloon, 146 Lygon St, Carlton, Vic, 3053
Cost: $20.00 $28.00
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