A free puppetry exhibition called “Puppet People: A snapshot of Australian Puppetry” is being held at the Tony Gould Gallery at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Brisbane) from 10 Oct 2017 – 27 Jan 2018.
The Tony Gould Gallery is located on the ground floor at the entrance to the Cremorne Theatre, facing the river and about half way along the side of QPAC’s building. The closest parking is at the Performing Arts Car Park. Also close by is the Grey Street entrance to the Brisbane Convention Centre.
The Gallery is open, free of charge, from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm during exhibition seasons.
Information about this exhibition was first published in the UNIMA Australia Newsletter in September, 2017. Information about the Tony Gould Gallery was sourced from the QPAC website.
Larrikin Puppets is a member company of UNIMA Australia.
To be a finalist is a big deal in itself! And while other categories all had five finalists, ours had seven! A huge congratulations to the winning finalist Kids Disco Parties. They provide kids around Melbourne with awesome dance parties at schools and birthday events each week!
We brought Troggg and Flossy along to bring lots of smiles and laughter to everybody in attendance at both the conference and the awards, and received a lot of very nice compliments, and posed in a lot of photos and selfies with everybody.
It was a very fun weekend at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane.
Triple J Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative Winner Tia Gostelow has a brand new single out called, “That’s What You Get”. The song’s music video features puppets, and Larrikin Puppets (Brett Hansen & Elissa Jenkins) performed puppetry in it! Puppets built by Scott Richards from Maxx Puppets.
Film production company: Why Not? Films.
Directors: Branden Wittchen & Luke Angelo-Roberts.
Producer: Emma Giddins.
Also starring: Ryan Hance.
Check out Tia’s single on Triple J (on rotation), Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music. See www.tiagostelow.com for news and tour dates!
Here’s the official music video for your viewing pleasure:
Support Larrikin Puppets entry into 2017 Queensland Small Business Week social media competition by liking our video
Larrikin Puppets wants to bring play to workforces with Puppets At Work, our new corporate arm. To help make this happen, please support our entry into the 2017 Queensland Small Business Week social media competition by LIKING our video entry on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The more likes and shares the post gets, the more chance we have to win a $10,000 grant to help us fund and launch the project! Competition ends on May 15, 2017.
Larrikin Puppets had the great honour and privilege of being chosen as corporate entertainment for the cast and company of My Fair Lady (Opera Australia), directed by Dame Julie Andrews. Our puppet show was held on the rooftop terrace at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) on Wednesday, 26 April 2017. Among the very special members of our audience were Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey), Anna O’Byrne, Reg Livermore, Robyn Nevin, Mark Vincent, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Deidre Rubenstein, Josh Gates, Joel Parnis and Don Winsor.
A post shared by My Fair Lady Musical (@myfairladyaus) on
The mastermind behind booking Larrikin Puppets to entertain the show’s cast and company was cast member Don Winsor, who thought an adult level puppet show would be a fun surprise for everybody during their farewell BBQ between shows on the production’s final week in Brisbane.
The premise of this specially tailored puppet show had the puppets auditioning for a puppet version of My Fair Lady, with Frizzby serving as host, and Troggg auditioning for the role of Eliza Doolittle (arguing with Flossy about the difference between the Cockney flower girl and animal whisperer Doctor Doolittle). The most memorable moment for the cast was the performance by Freerange the Chicken who they described as “random chicken”.
After the puppet show, Elissa and I wandered around with Troggg and Flossy to meet the various cast and company members and pose for photos and selfies with them. It was an unforgettable afternoon enjoyed by all.
Said Mr. Don Winsor in an email later that night, “GREAT job today. It was just what the doctor ordered and the company can’t stop laughing… particularly about the chicken, for no reason I can point to. Thanks for doing a bang up job!”
Big thanks to My Fair Lady Australia for choosing us, and chookas for the rest of the tour!
Previously we wrote a blog post about how Larrikin Puppets was nominated in the national What’s On 4 Kids Awards in the ‘Best Party Entertainment’ category.
Well, thanks to all of your votes, we are now a finalist in that category! Thank you very much, everybody!
We’ve answered some interview questions and are looking forward to attending the big What’s On 4 Kids Conference and the Awards Dinner, both being held on Saturday, 10 June at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane.
Troggg and Fossy (with Brett and Elissa) will be attending too, and meeting several other great entertainers and educators from around Australia.
The Best Children’s Party Entertainer category (Party Planners and Entertainers, Clowns etc) sponsored by Lah Lah’s Big Live Band has been narrowed down to seven finalists. They are:
Happily Ever Laughter Children’s Entertainment
Kids Disco Parties
Strawberry Fundae Kids Parties
SuperSteph’s Super Party Heroes
Unreal Kids Parties
A lot of competition here from some truly amazing and hard working entertainers. So please keep your fingers and toes crossed for little old us! 🙂
Whatever the outcome, we’re looking forward to spending a full day and night listening to guest speakers who are industry leaders in the children’s entertainment biz, and cheering on our fellow finalists who all share our passion for bringing smiles and laughter to their little faces, and making life fun and full of wonder and joy.
Caboolture film maker Gabor Kukucska set himself a challenge to make 52 short documentaries in 2017. That’s one per week! These documentaries are about inspirational people. And one of these people is Queensland puppeteer Brett Hansen – founder of Larrikin Puppets.
From childhood bullying and awful workplaces to personal difficulties like unemployment and the end of his first marriage, this 13 minute film tells the whole story. Strong encouragement from his loving family helped shape Brett’s life, and eventually he met the love of his life Elissa Jenkins, whose support has meant the world to Brett in the continuing growth of Larrikin Puppets.
The film also talks about the types of bookings Larrikin Puppets receive, including puppet shows and puppetry workshops. We learn about the Small Business Development Conference in Melbourne, and Brett’s advanced training in the USA with puppeteers from The Muppets and Sesame Street.
This is the teaser trailer that was shown in the lead up to the film’s official release:
The full 13 minute film is available to see now for free at https://inspireflix.com/docos/the-puppeteer/ by creating a free (and quick) login or signing in with Facebook. The login gate is because film festivals don’t accept films with full public access on YouTube or other such video sharing sites. We would love to see this film accepted and screened at festivals around the world. But we would also love you to login and see the film here and now at the InspireFlix website (formerly My Doco Club).
Scroll down and look for ‘Best Party Entertainment’. Then scroll down the drop-down menu to find Larrikin Puppets. You may vote in the other categories too for entertainers or classes or activities that you also like. But for the Best Party Entertainment category, please do us a huge favour and give us your vote.
Voting closes on Friday 17th March 2017 at 6pm EST.
The 2017 Di Bella Coffee What’s On 4 Kids Awards reward, recognise and celebrate the very best in children’s activities, classes, clubs, volunteers, family days out and kids’ party entertainers across Australia. #whatson4kidsawards
The full list of What’s On 4 Kids Awards nominated entertainers in the Best Party Entertainer category are:
Balloon Artistry by Aaron Smyth
Cleo the Clown
Easy Breezy Parties
Emabella Rose Face Painting
Ever After Parties
Face Painting By Starface
Fly By Fun
Funtime Kids Parties
Glass Slipper Entertainment
Happily Ever Laughter Children’s Entertainment
Jack Sharp Magic
Jelly Tots Perth
Kids Disco Parties
Kids Entertainment Sydney
Kids Love to Cook
Laser Warriors Mobile Laser Tag
Lil Busy Bodies (Anita Nichols)
Lilly’s Body Art
Little Builders Entertainment
Parties Kids Remember
Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties
String of Beads Parties
Super Hero Parties – Super Steph
Unreal Kids Parties
Voting in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards closes on Friday 17th March 2017 at 6pm EST.
Monitor puppetry is the style of puppetry developed by Jim Henson for performance on film and television productions. Unlike traditional live performance puppetry, the puppeteers don’t look at their puppets. They perform their characters up high above their heads, and watch their puppetry in a TV monitor. This enables the puppeteer to see if the puppet has good eye focus, good lip sync, and is able to walk correctly into a frame, and perform many tasks within that frame without looking stupid.
This is why the puppetry on The Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and all associated TV shows and movies look so good on screen. It’s because the puppeteers are able to see exactly how their puppets will look to the viewer at home. This is a perk that most actors don’t get to enjoy. A human actor must perform their scenes without ever looking at themselves on any monitor. Whereas puppeteers are blind on set if they have to crouch and hide behind tables and props without being able to see what they’re doing. The puppet is the star, and so the puppet (like human actors) still performs its scenes as normal. But the hidden puppeteer is the one controlling the puppet. So the puppeteer is allowed to watch their puppets on the TV monitor to make sure the movements are perfect. It wouldn’t be fair to expect the puppeteer to perform blind.
Monitor puppetry is a great way for puppeteers to practice their movements. From subtle facial emotions to wild arm movements, watching your puppetry skills on a monitor is a very good way to practice and improve.
Brett Hansen at Larrikin Puppets has been practicing and perfecting his puppetry skills since the age of three, and has taught many workshops in theatre, film and schools on the basic movements of Muppet-style puppetry. He even produced a live monitor puppetry improv show, where audiences could watch the cast of puppeteers at work, while also being able to watch a large screen displaying only the puppets being performed into the camera. This was a live example of how the puppeteers see their puppetry on the monitor, and then that performance is broadcast/displayed onto the screen for the audience to see.
But as there has never been any formal training in monitor puppetry in Australia, Brett’s only training has been both at The Puppet Kitchen in New York City (under Sesame Street’s Michael Schupbach), and at the advanced, intensive ‘Beyond the Sock’ puppetry workshop at the University of North Texas (under The Muppets and Sesame Street’s Marty Robinson and Noel MacNeal).
Brett now provides this kind of training through Larrikin Puppets for specially arranged class bookings.
Brett’s wife and business partner Elissa Jenkins also received some training at The Puppet Kitchen in New York, and this was her first training. She has since continued to practice her skills and has also started joining Brett as a secondary puppeteer at some of the larger events (such as Woodford Folk Festival and Paradise Resort Gold Coast).
So here now is a hilarious outtake video where Brett (as Troggg) and Elissa (as Flossy) are practicing some monitor puppetry, and working on the challenges that arise, such as trying to avoid heads and arms appearing in shot. Lots of laughs during this quite challenging activity. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks. But it’s definitely as fun as it looks!