I'm a Melbourne based freelance journo. While I mostly concentrate on music, I'll write about anything else that grabs my fancy.
What would the muppets do if kids didn't watch the show?
Puppet Up - uncensored
I have been in love with the Muppets for as long as I can remember. I used to watch them, with my Dad. So, to say that I was delighted to see "Puppet Up", performed by the Jim Henson company, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, was an understatement. I was almost beside myself in the lead up. I even counted down sleeps.
The show was largely improvised, based on suggestions from the audience. Think theatre sports, but more anarchic, hilarious and surreal. The vignettes were equal parts insane and inspired, including one with a syphilitic character, going blind in Ballarat. This was repeated, variably, as a musical and in the style of a Shakespearian play. Another involved hotdog puppets in the act of making a porno. I never liked hotdogs anyway.
Two screens were suspended above the performers, and a camera, on an elaborate tripod, took centre stage. The puppeteers were called, in turn, to perform before the camera. On the screens, you saw only the show as it involved the puppets, but below we were exposed to the mechanics of how such a show is performed. It was fascinating and bloody funny to boot.
As if I were not already sufficiently entertained, two segments of the show were called "vintage recreation pieces", and I am nothing, if not a vintage girl at heart.
The first was a piece called "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face". Originally, this was performed by Jim and Jane Henson in 1956. In short, the object of the woman's (at least that's what I think she was) affection eats his own face. It is the Muppets after all.
The second was a skit from 1965 called Java, involving 2 pink tube Muppets, with pretty eyelashes, dancing to a bossa nova beat.
You can find clips of these pieces on YouTube, but if you are planning to see the show, don't ruin it for yourself by watching.
Go see it if you can. It's on until 20 April at the Princess Theatre Melbourne. I laughed so hard, my cheeks hurt.