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



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:

For more info:

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

Songs for Europe – Two short plays about Eurovision by John Richards & Lee Zachiriah

By Lisa Clark 

It warms the heart to see such fabulous intelligent, funny and moving Australian theatre being debuted at Melbourne Fringe. Songs for Europe – Two short plays about Eurovision, is what the title suggests, but don’t go expecting a glitzy, trashy Eurobeat style parody, ‘cause you will be disappointed. This is a more poignant look at how Eurovision has influenced the world and the people involved.

The first play Nothing by John Richards is an intimate portrait of an encounter between two people in the basement dressing room of a nightclub somewhere in Eastern Europe, while the sounds of bombing can be heard in the distance. Patrick, played with straightforward simplicity by Nicholas Colla is an English hipster freelance journalist writing an article about Eurovision. He’s hunting down certain ex Eurovision performers and is here to meet up with Sonja despite her disinterest and downright refusal in granting him an interview. Sonja is an aging Eastern European diva magnificently and intelligently played by Marta Kaczmarek. Their feisty parley is witty, clever and ultimately powerfully moving.

The second play is about revolution and Eurovision’s association with war and hope for peace in Europe. The Carnation Revolution by Lee Zachiriah is set in Lisbon in 1974, three men are waiting in a café waiting for a signal over the radio to start a revolution against a dictatorship. The signal is a song from Eurovision and it is based on a true story. A mysterious, menacing customer enters the café. Chris Broadstock as Diego is bland and unassuming on the surface, yet creates unease with word play that becomes tension you can cut with a knife. The performances here are all excellent, though you can’t help but notice Jack Beeby who has a small part in the first play and then is barely recognisable as the young keen, sweet, naive revolutionary Carlos who has the audience completely on side. Petra Elliott is also excellent as the capitalist café owner, wary of Diego and his potential for trouble but willing to sell her wares to whomever wants to consume them.

The stage is simply set with a drabness that suggests being back stage at a theatre that perfectly complements both plays’ themes of backstage / behind the scenes to Eurovision; and the reality behind a glamorous front. There are two televisions on each side of the set that play vision from Eurovision before and between the plays and they give the audience members a taste of Eurovision as well as setting up the next play.

Songs for Europe is a production of contrasts, inverse expectations, conflict and peace. Where the first play is intimate and personal the second is about the world stage and they complement each other well. The dialogue is clever, and all the performances in this production are excellent but Marta gently soars above the rest, her experience and conviction in the role evident. Her riveting nuanced, portrayal of Sonja will stay with you long after the play is over. Whether you are a fan of Eurovision or not, this is definitely worth hunting through the back streets of Brunswick for.

Songs for Europe is on at Broken Mirror til Sept 29th.

Note: Broken Mirror off Sydney Rd is actually a more comfortable performance space than many Fringe spaces. Not hot and stuffy at all.

5 Good Reasons To See Songs For Europe: Two Short Plays About Eurovision

Here’s 5 Good Reasons To See Songs For Europe: Two Short Plays About Eurovision

1. It’s written by that guy that co-created ABC’s Outland and that guy from ABC’s The Bazura Project. You like those guys. They do good things.

2. It’s got jokes, but also pathos, drama and heart. It looks behind the kitsch and glamour of Eurovision to explore themes of failure, revolution, history and identity. Deep!

3. It has an amazing cast, including Green Room Award winner Marta Kaczmarek (Shine, The Circuit, Offspring), Nick Colla (Neighbours, Blue Heelers, Wicked Science), Chris Broadstock (award-winning impro performer, Bed Of Roses, Blue Heelers), Jack Beeby (Australian Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night, and known for his cabaret under the nom-de-plume “6” Uncut”), Noah Moon (better known as rapper Ca$h KRZMA), Angus Brown (acclaimed stand-up comedian) and Petra Elliott (musician, actor and host of live Doctor Who podcast Splendid Chaps). It’s directed by Lucas Testro (Channel 7’s Winners & Losers, 10’s Neighbours).

4. Half of it is set during the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. You don’t see that every day.

5. It includes a brand new 1982 Eurovision song (although this arguably might be a reason against. Please consult your doctor if pain persists).

Songs for Europe is a single show made up of two short plays, the first is called “Nothing” and the second is “Carnation Revolution” They have been written by John Richards (Outland and Splendid Chaps) and Lee Zachariah (The Bazura Project) so you know they will be funny and insightful.


While they’ve appeared on several podcasts together, this is the first collaboration between John Richards and Lee Zachariah- but why Eurovision?

Lee: That was my first question to John!

John: I love Eurovision! I love that while we always go on about the glitter and the kitsch – which is great – it also has this much darker side. There are so many real-life Eurovision stories that involve war, protest, and tragedy. One of the reasons they started Eurovision was to reunite nations that were at war only a few years previously. And then they made it a competition. Madness.

Lee: What won me over to the idea was when John told me about the 1974 Portuguese revolution that was basically kicked off by a Eurovision song. The more I read about it, the more desperate I was to tell that story. It’s really extraordinary.

Both John and Lee are best known as television comedy writers. John co-created and wrote ABC1 sit-com Outland, while Lee wrote and performed in The Bazura Project for ABC2. So why write short plays? And are they comedies?

John: I wouldn’t say it’s comedy. Well, not comedy comedy. It’s a drama with a high degree of wit. There are jokes, but you’ll also come away with some insight into the human condition. Or possibly just hungry.

Lee: I don’t believe that writers should be shackled to any single medium. The idea always comes first for me; then I have to figure out if it’s a feature script, a short film, a TV show, or a silly Twitter joke. It’s usually the last one.

Songs For Europe: Two Short Plays About Eurovision is playing at 7.45pm at  Broken Mirror Productions Upstairs (Level 1), 2c Staley St Brunswick