[Victoria Fringe 2023] Introducing Pico’s Puppet Palace and Their Second Play, Pico and the Golden Lagoon

Balancing deliverying positive messages about how to respect the earth can be challenging, and in what Pico and the Golden Lagoon delivers balances family friendly entertainment with a message for all ages.

Sally Miller and Pico, Together, Forever

Pico and the Golden Lagoon continues in what Pico’s Puppet Palace excels in, to prove that you don’t have to depend on buying products to create puppets and items needed for their show. This regional theatre duo who wants to teach children the importance of environmentalism and being kind to one another.

This biplane pilot who does parcel deliveries around the world gets into some crazy situations! Although he only has two pulp style adventures under his belt, I’m sure more tales are planned. After the successful Pico Under the Coral Sea which toured Vancouver Island and beyond to great success, to have another tale detailing his life in the skies is the next logical step.

During a mail run, this aviator’s plane is nearly out of gas. He’s lucky to land safely by a deserted island, but when he realises he’s alone, that’s not good! Not even the local fauna, who amusingly can talk, want to help. He’ll have to make a smoke signal or hope someone lives in the cabin he spotted while descending. All of that is amusing, but if they don’t have fuel, how will he leave?

Even as a big kid, I was amused at how this title character worried about how he’ll leave. The shanties being played certainly delivered some tension, and the mention of a dragon living here had me wondering if Pico will pull a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows moment. But truth be told, what’s imparted in this show is about how this hero learns to respect what he’s got, understand the natural world and also take home a desire to help others like David did unto him.

Pico and the Golden Lagoon - The Set

As a result, what’s presented is sort of Gilligan’s Island-like, where I liked how he learned how to adapt. Not only do we learn how to make use of the environment but also discover why doing good deeds is important. The two animal narrators make for an amusing commentary about the themes. Although they aren’t modelled after Statler and Waldorf (The Muppets), I’d welcome some of their snarkiness, so adults can enjoy this show too!

Production-wise, the team of Sally Miller and Jesse Hamilton work great together. The former handles all the masterful puppetry as though she once worked on The Muppet Show. For the latter, he plays a mean acoustic guitar, hinting he’s done more than folk music.

Overall, this show got many people smiling. The messages imparted will have parents talking about the future with their children, and as a result, perhaps more people will reuse and repurpose goods in creative ways so that the natural world can be preserved. Although I didn’t feel the environmentalist message was strong, its importance can still be taught in new creative ways, like in theatre–which is the theme of today’s two posts.

As much as I’d love to see more magically powered vehicles on the road and skies, it’d take a different type of fusion in order for our civilization to get there!

For tickets, please visit Intrepid Theatre’s website here.

Remaining Shows:

Sep 01 07:30 pm
Sep 02 12:00 pm Relaxed Performance
Sep 03 01:45 pm

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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