Tag Archives: Puppetry

[Victoria Fringe Festival 2018] The Wilds are more than Flights of Fancy, A Review

29 Aug

Location:
Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

Remaining Shows:
Aug 29, 8:15 pm
Aug 30 7:30 pm
Sep 1, 12:15 pm
Sep 2, 3:00 pm

  • Spoiler Alert

Victoria, BC is now the base for Wonderheads, a physical theatre company known for their puppet style theatre. They wear full head masks and also make use of minimalist set pieces to tell their tales. I remember seeing Grim and Fischer years ago and this act returns for one night only, November 8th, 2018. These shows have a wonderful mystique to them, and the tales are often enduring.
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The Life, Times and Advances in Puppetry with Mike Quinn

14 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Mike Quinn is a man of many cinematic trades—a talent mentored by Jim Henson and Frank Oz—and he sees a bright future for puppetry, a style of performance theatre. His passion for it predates meeting these two icons and he is fully aware of its rich history. At an early age, he staged his own live puppet shows for family and friends, and he was always encouraged to pursue his dreams.

This form of entertainment can be traced back to the days of early man. Some simply manipulated the stuffed dolls with their hands and others took the form further, like to have a light source cast upon them so their shadows are projected upon a larger surface. This technique not only helped make them become larger than life but also create a mystique to enthral many a viewer. Quinn is well aware of the many styles of puppetry that can be used to tell a story. In the 90’s, his shift to work behind the camera showed his passion also included directing. He worked on many a TV pilot in the UK and said Mira Mara was one program where he brought in skilled shadow puppeteers to perform while a human actress was regaling fantastic tales to a cast of puppets. It went to full series production, was filmed throughout Wales and Scotland, and was broadcast in Gaelic speaking countries.

“I think this style is a very poetic and abstract artistic way of doing visuals. I also enjoy watching a different form known as bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre). You have three people working a full figure on a tabletop. They are usually seen behind the puppet, sometimes dressed in black, partially visible … they study forever to be very precise. It’s incredible!” observed Quinn.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival ’16] Does Not Play Well With Others Deftly Explores The Price of Celebrity

31 Aug

Does-Not-Play-Well-With-Others-NEW-ITCLOCATION:
Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

SHOWTIMES:
Thu Sept 1 – 6:30pm
Sat Sept 3 – 6:45pm

Continues at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival beginning September 9 at the Revue Stage.

After watching the documentary I am Big Bird, I felt more than prepared for the Fringe theatre performance of Does Not Play Well With Others. Both products look at children’s entertainment from different perspectives. The former was more of a biography about Caroll Spinney. All the trails, tribulations and experiences he went through to be Big Bird is nicely explored. The Fringe show looks at the trials and tribulations of two puppeteers, played by Adam Francis Proulx and Kira Hall, who are the creative minds behind lovable Oomph and Bae.

I wished these two puppeteers’ names were mentioned more than once for me to make note of. Not like it really matters, since this tale can apply to any disgruntled union worker, but I wanted some extra detail to make this story more specific than general. For now, I will use these performer’s real names.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival ’16] Space Hippo World Tour & Review

28 Aug

spacehippo-program-4-1024x1024-70LOCATION:
The Roxy Theatre
2657 Quadra Street

SHOWTIMES:
Mon Aug 29 – 9:30pm
Tue Aug 30 – 6:00pm
Sat Sep 3 – 8:00pm
Sun Sep 4 – 9:15pm

Continues at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival starting September 8th at the Waterfront Theatre. 

Mochinosha / The Wishes Mystical Puppet Company is back at this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival hosted by Intrepid Theatre, and they have crafted an original tale that, like their past shows, brings their wonderful shadow puppetry to the big screen. Space Hippo offers space opera and camp ala Irwin Allen. I’m specifically thinking of the later years of Lost in Space when it aired in colour than in black and white. In this production, there’s a blend of both to give the show a unique air of vibrancy. A lot of storyboarding was required to work out Space Hippo’s journey and I only hope there is more. This intelligent creature was recruited by the best minds of Earth to send into the cosmos to avert Earth’s destruction from aliens —and find her baby.

The team of Daniel Wishes and Seri Yanai spent a lot of time cutting, if not crafting each piece of paper used to have its silhouette projected to the screen. I’m amazed at the amount of detail put into these items. I think this show surpasses their past productions like Oni and Hitodama (the links provided go to my past reviews). These shows had a bit of raunchiness that’s more suited for a PG-13 crowd and for this cinematic marvel, it can be enjoyed by everyone! Wishes said this play will be headed to Japan, where their roles will be reversed; Yanai will be the principal narrator and he will be providing the sound effects and supporting roles. For updates, please visit their website for upcoming shows.

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