Innes Lloyd : Dracula

By Lisa Clark

Innes Lloyd are veteran purveyors of nerdy comedy – Rob Lloyd and David S. Innes. They have previously celebrated Harry Potter and Red Dwarf – amongst others – and of course are pretty famous for their association with Dr Who. Their production of Dracula has not been created with fans of sparkly romantic teen vampires in mind, this has been made for people who are old school Bram Stoker buffs.

It is important to note is that this show is not about any old vampires, there is no mention of Buffy or What We Do In the Shadows. This show is about The Count. Count Dracula. There are still a lot of cute related cultural reference jokes running through it, but it is mostly quite a neat comically theatrical presentation of Stoker’s novel and the way it was composed from letters, diaries and ship logs and such, which certainly made me happy. The crib notes or ‘Fun Facts’ are about the Dracula character and all the different ways he’s been presented in pop culture history with mentions of Blackula and Count Duckula and so forth. In fact I wondered if they created this show just so they could sing the Count Duckula theme song!

There is a lot of skill and experience on display. Great choreography and musicianship, good writing and great performing, as well as fantastically slick lighting and sound from Sam Duncan. The sea shanty is the highlight of the show, being very silly, jaunty and a bit creepy, perfectly capturing the account in the novel. The constant appearances of an unrelated horror film were a bit overdone and out of place though. If they needed to make comedic movie references, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) has more than enough potential material, Keanu Reves, for one.

It is clear that Rob Lloyd is the standout performer here being a very experienced comedy veteran, starting out with The Hounds (with Tegan Higginbotham & Adam McKenzie) who became Watson after he left. David S. Innes is a delightful plucky sidekick playing many outrageously silly characters and they are joined for this production by Jennifer Speirs who is the Straight Guy to Innes Lloyd’s silly stuff, mostly concentrating on playing the Mina Harker character.

I love a group festival show that makes the effort to produce programmes for the audience. Even just a single sheet that celebrates the efforts of everyone involved in the production. It can act as a sort of flyer that they can take to friends. It’s also a fantastic source of information for reviewers!

This was a preview performance, but was pretty polished. Innes Lloyd are very experienced at entertaining a crowd. As this beds in and they become more relaxed about fooling around with it and the audience (there was a little of this tonight which added joyous sparks) it will only get better. For fans of nerd culture Innes Lloyd shows are always a fun night. If you’re a fan of The Count and love a laugh, don’t miss it!

Dracula is on at The Butterfly Club until March 31

https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2019/shows/innes-lloyd-presents-dracula

FIVE GOOD REASONS TO SEE…THE JUNIOR MIGHTY LITTLE PUPPET SHOW!

1. It has puppets!

Like the title suggests The Junior Mighty Little Puppet Show has puppets in it…but these puppets are like nothing you’ve seen before.  This brand-new show is specifically designed for kids, but parents will be sure to have a brilliant time as well!

What’s unique about our puppets? They have been custom-built by the extremely talented people at The Puppet Workshop specifically for improvised puppetry.

After making their debut at last years’ Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a more adult orientated format, our puppets (called The Ritas) are thrilled to be back for MICF 2017.  The Ritas are brightly coloured and blank-faced, and we have large selection of eyes & noses that can be attached and removed to The Ritas whenever – and however – we want!

This means we can create new and exciting puppet characters for every performance.

2. Kids can create the characters!

That’s right, the Ritas were specifically created so new puppet characters could be created before each scene. In The Junior Mighty Little Puppet Show the audience will be able to see the characters built before their very eyes, and have the opportunity to vote on their favourite eyes and noses to create characters from!

Some lucky kids will even be able to put the eyes and noses right on to invent the new puppet faces. We wanted our puppets have the potential to be just as spontaneous as the scenes they will be in.

3. It’s a choose your own adventure style show

Not only does the audience play a role in creating the characters, you also get to choose which story you want to see through to the end! Audience members get to vote on which character’s story you want to see continue at each stage, and watch our improvisers build a narrative around that choice!

4. We have an amazing troupe of improvising puppeteers!

For this show we handpicked performers from the Melbourne Comedy and Improvisation community who have experience with puppetry.

It takes an intensely focused performer to improvise while operating a puppet and it takes a very humble, generous performer to improvise in a scene with one.

We’ve really lucked out.

For MICF 2017 we have: Amanda Knights, Caitlin Yolland, Corey Glamuzina, David Innes, Hallie Goodman, Jaime G. Cerda, Jaklene Vukasinovic, Petra Elliott and Scott McAteer

 

5. We have a sensational host!

Our amazing host Rob Lloyd has been working professionally as an actor, comedian & improviser for over 15 years.   Rob is also the star of the ABC Me educational adventure series Bertram Poppingstock: Problem Solver.  Rob is the Artistic Director of The Mighty Littles and is excited to host The Junior Mighty Little Puppet Show.

The Junior Mighty Little Puppet Show is on at The Melbourne Town Hall from April 1 at 2.15

https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-junior-mighty-little-puppet-show

 

 

5 GOOD REASONS TO SEE…INNES LLOYD: JULES VERNE’S JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH!

1. Melbourne based comedy duo Innes Lloyd are back doing MICF! The pair hasn’t done a Melbourne International Comedy Festival show since Men of Your Dreams in 2015.

2 This year they are doing their own unique interpretation of legendary sci-fi/fantasy writer Jules Verne’s classic Journey to the Centre of the Earth!

3. You’ll be guaranteed Innes Lloyds usual high energy, fast-paced nonsense.

4. Their venue is the gorgeous Butterfly Club! Buy a drink and some snacks, enjoy the deliciously kitschy deco and then see Innes Lloyd.

5. Innes Lloyd promises this will be the ULTIMATE edition of the story…incorporating and referring to not only the original text but also every single film, TV miniseries, concept album, direct-to-DVD movie, failed TV pilot and cartoon series there is out there.

Innes Lloyd perform Journey to the Centre of the Earth! on Monday April 10th to 16th at 7pm at The Butterfly Club

Tickets available here: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/innes-lloyd-jules-verne-s-journey-to-the-centre-of-the-earth

For more information see the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website:

https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/innes-lloyd-presents-jules-verne-s-journey-to-the-centre-of-the-earth

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

The Mighty Little Puppet Show

By Lisa Clark David & Mighty Little Puppets

Impro with a difference, not only do the performers have to create characters and scenarios for themselves but they are also creating characters for puppets as they go and this is an impressive and silly show for all impro and puppet fans.

The host for the show David S Innes does a great job welcoming punters, keeping an eye on proceedings and knowing when to stop skits. The performer/ puppeteers are all brilliant people, including; Rob Lloyd more famous for his own geek based shows like last year’s sublime The Heart Awakens and Petra Elliot from Night Terrace (who’s puppetry skills dazzled in The Magical Oak Tree & Who Killed John Bearington III). Matt Hadgraft does a fine job with a live musical accompaniment on the electric piano.

The faceless puppets are referred to as The Ritas and if you know the Muppets you understand that different eyes noses etc can be attached like velcro to create different characters. The large boards on stage display a dazzling myriad of eyes, noses and mouths for the puppeteers to choose from and are tantalising to look at while waiting for the show to start. Hmmm, not many beards so not many hipster possibilities. Lots of moustaches, an eye patch, a nose with whiskers….

One of the highlights of the show was where the audience member got to stick a face on the puppet from the smaller more portable Face Buffet board. I would have enjoyed more being made of just mucking about with the faces and characters for a bit without the need for scenes up front, but maybe that’s just the Muppet tragic me. The scenes helped along by audience suggestions were great though, including Zeus having a mental breakdown and then getting to meet Bigfoot on breakfast television.

The strongest part of the show was the long form story, in this case it was a Western and the players get to play with the genre, with a little help from the audience as always, but also from guest improviser Jason Geary who gets to play off the puppets (not wearing enough silly moustaches for my liking) and lead the way. As a show with so many possibilities at it’s fingertips I appreciated the structure in place and choices that were made by the performers beforehand and I’m sure Jason did too. It’s always good to have something to hang on to when a show can go anywhere. Jason is a legend at comedy impro though, and did a fabulous job traversing the ridges and ravines of making stuff up on the spot.

This is a really kooky little experiment hybrid of a show and another extraordinary way to find laughs at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

The Mighty Little Puppet Show is on at The Upstairs Lounge @ Little Sista until April 3

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2016/season/shows/the-mighty-little-puppet-show

Rob Lloyd – The Heart Awakens

By Elyce Phillips Rob Lloyd Heart Awakens

Every child has something in their life that opens their mind up to the possibilities of the future. For some, it might be a particular book. For others, it may be the discovery of a sport. For Rob Lloyd, it was Star Wars.

The Heart Awakens is the third part of Lloyd’s Obsession trilogy – nerds do love a good trilogy – exploring his first love, Star Wars. However, it’s more than an ode to a single film series. The show sifts through Lloyd’s serial obsessive relationships with pop culture entities. It’s an autobiography told through fandoms. With each new fascination, Lloyd discovers more about who he is and what he can become.

Lloyd tackles the topic of fandom with a lot of tenderness. There are plenty of niche jokes in there for the geeks in the audience, but the greater story of connection is one that everyone can relate to – largely thanks to a clever metaphor that Lloyd brings to life on the stage. Jen Speirs is fabulous as the various loves Lloyd has had over the years, capturing the sweet inspiration of their first meeting through to the bitter betrayal of later years/certain prequels.

The Heart Awakens is more heart-warming than it is tears-down-your-face hilarious. It’s a gentle comedy that provides interesting insights into how Lloyd got to where he is today. A beautiful ode to the power of popular art, The Heart Awakens is a must-see for anyone who has fallen in love – particularly if that love involves awesome robots.

The Heart Awakens is on at The Lithuanian Club – Loft until October 3

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/abfc4b30-ff0e-4063-9532-c8502880fb53