Madam Moonshine Muppet Oracle

By Colin Flaherty

Behold! The all-seeing, all-knowing Muppet Oracle Madam Moonshine (along with her nephew Where?Wolf) is here to solve your problems. Using her decks of cards and various mystical trinkets, she provides all the answers (as long as those answers are found in the bottom of a bottle).

People seriously into astrology and fortune telling may find her techniques lacking but it is merely something upon which to hang her interactions with us troubled souls. Audience participation is vital as it forms the main thrust of the show. People can interact to whatever extent they feel comfortable, there is no pressure as The Madam can fill in the gaps with many amusing quips. The guy on the door clearly identifies who is able to partake of the many problem-solving alcoholic shots (designated drivers can opt out if they wish) so it’s obvious who wants play along. It is a warm and comfortable atmosphere.

The Madam herself is a brilliant character who is intimidating with her no nonsense attitude but disarming with her grandmotherly appearance. She often causes embarrassment in her clients when she calls a spade a spade but it’s all light-hearted and never malicious. Her European accent of indeterminate origin is the icing in the cake.

Where?Wolf is equally strong being racy and crude in his role as a Gangsta Rapper being pushed into the Oracle trade. Dismissive of what he sees as mumbo jumbo, he offers punters narcotics, flirts with the ladies and offers very different advice to that of his Aunt. He even treats us to an amusing improvised rap.

Having only had the puppet for a year, Fenella Edwards’ skills as a puppeteer are impressive. Although her face is visible, she has created a world so immersive that it’s not difficult to keep your attention focused on the puppet rather than the performer. During malfunctions she is able to cover with a witty quip and is able to make jokes about the limitations of the Ms Moonshine. During the extended transitions from The Madam to Where?Wolf she keeps up the banter off stage to ensure we are kept entertained. Even though she probably has some prepared patter to cope with common audience responses, her impro skills are great when thrown some unique ailments.

This charming show is a rather unique comedy experience. The compact running time ensures that it doesn’t outstay its welcome. I highly recommend that you step into the caravan and let Madam Moonshine work her magic.

Madam Moonshine is on at The Last Jar until April 18.