The advertising for Creepy Dummy promises much more sinister material than it actually delivers (unless the mere sight of a ventriloquist dummy gives you uncontrollable shakes) but this light-hearted and silly show is the perfect vehicle to spend time with Jones’ cast of adorable characters (well Hugo is still pretty damn disturbing).
If you’ve seen her at various comedy rooms this year you will have met some of these puppets before (Dennis the Tennis Ball and her enthusiastic but dimwitted dog) and the newer ones (such as the spider and her great aunt) are just as spellbinding. Even though the interactions with her characters are largely self-contained scenes, a loose theme of confronting your fears is used as a linking device.
Jones’ humour is regularly silly with her puppets telling daggy jokes to impress the punters with their comedy skills; it’s all very family friendly fare. Regular self-deprecating comments make light of her eccentric profession and she regularly jokes about the limitations of the art form; a nice disarming tactic that fits well with her stage persona.
Several segments of shadow puppetry are brilliant, especially during the opening and her twist ending. One routine has Sarah performing in front of the screen, contorting her hands into animals, which is a way of inviting us behind the curtain to see how it’s done and become even more impressed by her talent.
Some elements from her A History of Ventriloquism show from the 2014 Magic Festival are sprinkled throughout and a “personal history” with ventriloquism sets up jokes and the premises upon which segments hang.
There are a few bits of audience participation but fear not, it couldn’t be further from the confronting or aggressive interactions employed by other Vents. These are gentle exchanges with the puppet usually made to look foolish as he/she awkwardly converses with the punter.
This is a wonderful hour to spend in the lovely company of Sarah and her menagerie of friends.
Creepy Dummy is on at The Butterfly Club (& one night at Tasma Terrace) until April 10