5 Good Reasons to See The Mighty Little Puppet Show

1. We’re back!

We were actually quiet surprised when our little show had quiet a successful world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We had wonderful reviews, great feedback and really supportive audiences. So it seemed only natural to bring the show back for Melbourne Fringe…and at The Butterfly Club, one of Melbourne’s best fringe theatre and cabaret venues.

2. It has puppets!

If you missed us at MICF The Mighty Little Puppet Show has puppets in it…but these puppets are like nothing you’ve seen before.

What’s unique about our puppets is that they are custom-built, by the extremely talented people at The Puppet Workshop.

Our puppets (called The Ritas) are brightly coloured and blank-faced, we’ve also had large selection of eyes & noses build that can be attached and removed to The Ritas whenever we want.

Meaning we can create new and interesting puppet characters for every performance.

3. It is an improvised show!

Yup…every show will be improvised so no two shows will be the same. The Ritas were specifically created because The Mighty Little Puppet Show is completely improvised.

We wanted our puppets have the potential to be just as spontaneous as the scenes they will be in.

4. We have a NEW stellar line-up of Special Guest Stars!

We were fortunate to have some of Melbourne’s most respected, popular & experienced performers guest star with the Ritas for our Comedy Festival season.
This Fringe is no different, we have assembled a stellar line-up of stars from the Melbourne Comedy scene, who are ready to raise hell with our puppet crew.

Our guests include:

-Lliam Amor, Elly Squire, Ross Daniels, Damian Callinan, Dilruk Jayasinha and Lauren Bok.

5. We have NEW members to our amazing troupe of impro-puppeteers!

We are very excited to welcome three new cast members to this Fringe season.
We have:
-Hallie Goodman (an puppeteer & improviser from New York how has worked with The Improv Conspiracy).
-Amanda Knights (A regular performer with Impro Melbourne & First Draft Theatre).
-Danny Alder (An actor/improviser who was seen in Eastenders & was a regular performer with impro/comedy troupe The Crew).
They will be joining our senior Mighty Little troupe members who will be returning for Fringe duties: Scott McAteer, Caitlin Yolland, Petra Elliott & Rob Lloyd.

The Mighty Little Puppet Show is at The Butterfly Club from Monday Sept 19 to 25 – 10pm. No show Friday.

Tickets can be purchased at: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/the-mighty-littles

For more info: https://melbournefringe.com.au/program?event/the-mighty-little-puppet-show/9f769e57-2b1a-4c3c-963a-f039b1dfeba8

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Previously Reviewed Shows

It’s nearly time for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!!!

Our tails are waggling excitedly as we plan our festival and the shows we will be seeing and reviewing for you. It’s a big 30th Anniversary and we’ll be enjoying a lot of the wonderful birthday events and exhibitions too.

As always to help you make decisions about which shows you should see at the festival we have a list for you of all the shows we have already reviewed so you can check them out.

Don’t forget to take a punt on someone you’ve never heard of, they might change your world and you, for making up an awesome audience, theirs.

Down the bottom of this article, I’ve listed some shows that have been cancelled.

Meanwhile here are some reviews we prepared earlier:

Christopher Welldon Christopher Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9253

Dave Callan A Little Less Conversation 3: Even More Less Conversation

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9380

Dilruk Jayasinha – Sri Wanka

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9383

Geraldine Hickey Winner!

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9243

I love Green Guide Letters with Steele Saunders

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5892

Lauren Bok Is That A Burrito In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy You Have a Burrito

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9270

Lauren Bok, Sam Marzden & Bert Goldsmith Radio Variety Hour

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5089

Lisa-Skye & Nick Caddaye Gentlemen’s Agreement

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9309

Little Dum Dum Club: Live!

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5938

Rama Nicholas in Mary Weather’s Monsters

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9298

Set List

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6695

Soothplayers Completely Improvised Shakespeare

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9433

 

Cancelled Shows

The following is the list so far. We will pop any more of these up on the ‘In Brief’ section of our site as they come in:

ACE Comedy vs Politics Gala Dinner

Funny Folks Have a Crack!

Squeaky Clean Comedy

5 PM Variety Show

 

 

Lauren Bok – Is That A Burrito In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy You Have A Burrito

By Lisa Clark

Burrito

Lauren Bok has been performing in Festival shows for a while now, including Live on Bowen on channel 31, group standup shows and theatrical shows like Radio Variety Hour and Wander Women from earlier this year, but this is her first solo stand up show. Unsurprisingly, it’s an energetic and entertaining performance into which Lauren throws all of herself.

Lauren starts with some straight stand up that gives us a taste of her life as a comedian and comes across as very naturally funny. It does take a little while to warm up which is not surprising in this rather confronting, tiny, echoey room. The good thing about the space is that each echoing laugh sounds like an extra 3 people laughing and it instantly gives us the intimacy that Lauren is working to evoke with her words.

After some delightfully excellent mime Lauren warms into some longer form story telling. There seemed to be some influence from Amy Schumer in subject matter which, deliberate or not, is not at all surprising, most comedians tend to start out wearing their hero influences on their sleeves. Amy has also helped make it more acceptable for women to talk candidly about their sexuality and this is pretty candid stuff. There is never a sense though that Lauren is trying merely to shock or outrage, the atmosphere is warm and down to earth.

There is a delightful kookiness to Lauren’s performance that keeps the audience on side throughout what is a bit of a patchwork of a production and she has added interest with a smattering of props that are just enough for the show. Some of the patches worked better than others, the least successful part being her tale of grief which had not been signposted or even hinted at before it suddenly appeared. It didn’t feel quite audience-ready, but is engaging none the less and the audience can appreciate why it’s there.

This is an impressive turn for a first solo outing, Lauren has put a lot of ideas and work into making it entertaining and engaging. Fringe is a great place to take risks and learn and audiences will enjoy taking the journey with her.

 https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/839f6b72-d94c-4d71-9688-7b71774d27bf

 

Lauren Bok, Chelsea Hughes & Megan Mckay : Wander Women

By Lisa ClarkWander Women

Up in the air! Is it Wonder Woman? No but it’s still pretty cool. It’s Wander Women a great little sketch show by three talented comedians who want to share their Superpower skills at travelling with anyone who wants to join them on their journey.

Those hoping for anything more of the fab 1970s Wonder Woman than its catchy theme tune might be a little disappointed but fear not, the Wander Women have an entertaining show in store. Lauren Bok from Live on Bowen, Megan Mckay (a 2012 National Finalist at RAW Comedy) and Chelsea Hughes from America are our Super Hosties providing the in-flight entertainment on an imaginary flight into the world of travelling, travel nightmares, and tourists from hell. They also share their travelling Super Powers with us

The girls begin where we all begin with packing for the trip and end the tour with a very modern way to end holidays, adding reviews to Trip Advisor. The Superhero ‘Travelator’ saves us from travel stress with a very edifying and amusing lecture on packing tips. The Wander Women also advise us on how travel can make or break a relationship, what not to wear and warn us against Delhi belly.

Their satire of the insensitive tourist whose priority is getting the ‘right’ photo for their social media site was a little dark but spot on and had a cracking tag. As did the pun-laden gameshow with the delightfully surreal element of a jar of chutney as a contestant. Why not? The Contiki tour guide could’ve been more stressed out but was a great low key way to involve the audience. The ‘Dance of the Luggage Liquids’ was a highlight though things could’ve gotten messier, but then maybe I’ve been influenced by seeing way too much of Dr Brown & Sam Simmons and this is definitely not that show.

There were a lot of really fresh and fabulous ideas here and the performers worked well together considering this was their first outing. My main suggestions would be that each of them concentrate on creating stronger (& sillier) characters. The travel insurance phone room would’ve benefitted from some interesting characters and the TripAdvisor interrogators could’ve been more extreme. Lauren Bok in silly wig has fun as one of the ‘Tourist Fashion Police” but the others don’t seem to have put much work into their characterisations and the whole thing is not vicious enough. Though it’s pretty hard to out-bitch such a nasty reality concept I guess.

The audio visual component was excellent and a perfect accompaniment to the live performances without ever overshadowing or outstaying it’s welcome. The idea of breaking up the show with three sets of three genuine holiday snaps was perfect and the ‘un-happy snaps’ were particularly funny. The finale was also inspired, the girls had a lot of work put into it and it’s definitely one of the best finales at this year’s comedy festival.

Wander Women is a pretty nice way of spending an hour at the Comedy Festival and there are a few bang on belly laughs among the titters, groans and smiles of recognition. The ratio could go up if they really threw everything in and ramped it up a notch, so there is heaps of potential here in this debut work. It’s certainly enjoyable for experienced travellers and we learned some serious super powered packing skills.

Wander Women is on at The Portland Hotel until April 19
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2015/season/shows/wander-women-lauren-bok-chelsea-hughes-megan-mckay

5 Good Reasons to see Wander Women

1. It’s is the only travel-themed sketch show in the Comedy Festival.

2. It’s written, produced and performed by 3 funny and fierce Melbourne comedians, Lauren Bok (Channel 31’s Live on Bowen), Chelsea Hughes (RAW Comedy State Finalist 2014) and Megan Mckay (RAW Comedy National Finalist 2013). That’s right – a Triple Threat!

3. The show will give a definitive ruling on the age old packing debate over whether you should pack or roll your clothes.

4. You will get to see three completely untrained women do a ballet.

5. It’s on early in the evening so you’ll have plenty of time to watch lots of other comedy festival shows!

Wander Woman is on at The Portland Hotel

 Read more about the show and buy tickets on the Comedy Festival website:

The First Five

By Noel Kelso

Have you ever watched a stand-up comedian perform and thought to yourself afterwards, ‘I could do better than that’?

Well now is your chance to give it a try. The First Five is a comedy workshop for those wanting to learn the art of the stand-up. Hosted by Melbourne comedian Lauren Bok this is an hour during which participants are shown mike technique, the building blocks of a joke, how to turn a mundane situation into something absurd and how to think like a comedian.

Oh – and if you attend you must perform.

To begin each member of the group is asked to stand and tell the others their name, what they ate for breakfast, something which they dislike and something which they like. Then they have to repeat that on stage from behind a microphone. This exercise is a great ice-breaker and helps to get everyone relaxed with one another and comfortable with the stage.

We are then given advice on stage presence, delivery and how to relax. One of the key factors mentioned is economy of speech; particularly relevant to myself as I can ramble on a bit as may be obvious from my reviews.

Next is the joke development section where we were asked to select pieces of paper from four buckets containing different topics, feelings, questions or phrases with blank spaces to be filled. These formed the seeds of our acts and we wrote ideas down, discussing them in small groups before performing.

I should point-out at this stage that my wife had accompanied me under the impression that she would simply be observing. So to discover that she too was expected to perform was a bit of a surprise.

But we both performed and managed to get some laughs from those in the room. This is where the great potential for this workshop lies – in encouraging not only those who wish to enter stand-up, but those whose professions might involve presentations at meetings or conferences. This is the sort of workshop which encourages participants to develop ideas outside of the normal parameters and would be invaluable to someone in a dry profession who has to attend conferences and speak.

Lauren Bok makes a fine mentor and is always on hand to offer advice throughout. The workshop itself works best with small numbers as the time is limited and there is a lot to get through, but I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to hone their stand-up skills

The First Five is on at the Imperial Hotel until April 12
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2014/season/shows/the-first-five