Larrikin Puppets perform at QPAC for My Fair Lady Cast and Company

My Fair Lady Larrikin Puppets QPACLarrikin 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.

My Fair Lady QPAC puppet showThe 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.

My Fair Lady TestimonialThe 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”.

Elissa Brett QPACAfter 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.

 

Larrikin Puppets perform at QPAC for My Fair Lady CastSaid 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!

Brett Hansen

2016 Recap – A puppet filled year

larrkin puppets.jpg– 2016 started with a series of school holiday and vacation care puppet show performances.

– The Richard Bell film I performed puppetry in (“5 for 35”) screened all Summer at GOMA as part of the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8).

 

5 for 35 Richard Bell

– I provided puppetry training (and puppets) for ImproMafia’s “Not 4 Kidz” at the Brisbane Comedy Festival.

– A new puppet character, Frazzamatazz, joined the Larrikin Puppets cast in February.

– I began sewing lessons in preparation for the puppet building component of the upcoming intensive puppetry course I was enrolled in at the University of North Texas.

Interstate International Touring– I performed MC duties (hidden under a table – Troggg was the MC!) at the official Ipswich Festival media launch. Troggg got to introduce Mayor Paul Pisasale to the stage. I also performed puppet shows at the actual Ipswich Festival, and was informed by several friends in the lead up that they noticed big roadside billboards with Troggg on them!

 

 

Beyond the Sock Frazzamatazz on set

– I also performed puppet shows at the Paradise Resort in Surfers Paradise, the Redcliffe Sails Festival, a Bunnings store in Warwick, an Indian restaurant, a nursing home and several childcare centres, schools and birthday parties.

Brisbane Comedy Festival

– Elissa helped me run some puppetry workshops at a few schools, including a full week (three workshops a day) at Belmont State School.

 

 

 

Shannon, Troggg, Brett - The Puppet Workshop– We went down to Adelaide to visit Shannon Cooke at The Puppet Workshop.

– We lived in Brooklyn, New York for three months. We saw lots of live theatre in NYC – including many puppet shows for adults, improv comedy and “Avenue Q” off Broadway (with a backstage tour thanks to puppeteer contacts).

Kaufman1

– Much of my time overseas was spent networking with other puppeteers, which included frequent visits to The Puppet Kitchen for monitor puppetry sessions run by the awesome Michael Schupbach. Between there, several puppet shows/events and a few Muppet screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image it was really great to meet, perform and practice with so many great NYC puppeteers and fellow Muppet fans – including Marcelo Bottaro, Arlee Chadwick, Musa ‘Fuzzy Beard’ Bradley, David Bizzaro, Zach ‘Wackiman’ Woliner, Nicola ‘Callie & Izzy’ McEldowney, John Papovitch, Kevin Hale, Tau ‘Being Elmo’ Bennett, Christina Rodriguez Stone, Matthew Soberman, Sam ‘Mo Monster’, Tania Lopez, Tim Young, Erin Finnegan, Spencer Cohen, and so many more amazing people!

MoWallyTroggg– I performed my full puppet show at the Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn (yes, I transported my whole puppet stage and all the puppets to America).

– Troggg guest starred in an episode of The Fuzzy Beard Show.

– We attended a convention called “Morning with the Muppets” starring Steve Whitmire (with Kermit the Frog), Eric Jacobson (with Fozzie Bear and Animal) and Peter Linz (assisting). I asked a couple of questions during the Q&A, and was lucky enough to have a brief chat with Steve Whitmire afterwards. He fluffed up Troggg’s fur as he spoke to me about a trip to Australia they were taking soon.

Fuzzy Beard01– We spent a week in Los Angeles, staying just off Hollywood Boulevard. We walked to the Jim Henson Company and checked out the big Kermit statue out the front.

– We spent a day with Henson puppeteers Grant Baciocco (whom I’d met in Brisbane a couple of years earlier during “Puppet Up!” and stayed in contact with) and Russ Walko. Troggg of course came out on all of these puppet-related excursions in both New York and Los Angeles.

Jim Henson Company 1– We spent a week in Denton, North Texas where, at the University of North Texas, I received advanced, intensive, life changing training in film & TV monitor puppetry from Henson puppeteers Marty Robinson (Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus) and Noel MacNeal (Bear in the Big Blue House), and a puppet construction component lead by Pasha Romanowski (Project Puppet, The Moe Show). Elissa came with me to all the casual nights of drinking and chatting with the puppeteers. She also attended the special performance night we did on the final day. The whole thing was an unforgettable experience. This kind of training simply doesn’t exist in Australia. I was so happy to not only get some of my existing skills validated, but also to learn so many valuable new skills, and better ways to perform my craft from the best in the business – my heroes!

Grant and Russ 1– Since returning to Australia, I performed both puppet characters in a short comedy film called “Kev”, plus shows at schools, childcare centres, festivals and parties every week!

 

 

Marty Robinson, Pasha Romanowski, Noel MacNeal– There were more shows at the Gold Coast’s Paradise Resort, and even a few shows at New Farm Cinemas, which included some Larrikin Puppets cinema advertising before screenings of “Moana” and “Sing”. I even got to perform my first puppet show at the famous Brisbane Powerhouse!

Larrikin Puppets Deja Voodoo Woodford– And we spent the final week of the year performing three shows a day, every day at one of Australia’s biggest festivals – the Woodford Folk Festival.

It’s been an absolutely huge year! Here’s to more puppet fun in 2017!

Brett Hansen

New York and Los Angeles Puppet Adventures

Fuzzy Beard01At the end of our fourth week in New York City, Brett (and Troggg) spent a day with Musa Moses Bradley, who is the puppeteer for a character called Fuzzy Beard. We went out on the Staten Island ferry and filmed an episode of “The Fuzzy Beard Show”, with special guest Troggg!

Fuzzy Beard2

Troggg HollywoodThe next day, we flew six hours to Los Angeles where we stayed just off Hollywood Boulevard for a week. Troggg found Kermit the Frog’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

We also went to see The Jim Henson Company, where the famous Kermit the Frog statue stands at the front gate. He’s dressed like Charlie Chaplin. Why? Troggg explains why in the video below:

Jim Henson Company 3

Jim Henson Company 2

Jim Henson Company 1

Then we got to meet up with two Henson puppeteers, Grant Baciocco and Russ Walko in Burbank, California. Troggg met some puppet friends – Uncle Interloper (performed by Grant Baciocco), Toiley T. Paper (also performed by Grant Baciocco), and the stars of web series “The Ultimate Nerd-ament”, Stanley (Grant Baciocco) and JAX (Russ Walko). We had the honour and pleasure of visiting Grant’s office and Russ’ workshop (known as ‘The Puppet Garage’). Russ Walko built a bunch of Muppets for the recent TV series “The Muppets”, and also built puppet characters for an episode of “Community” and an episode of “The Simpsons” that featured puppets. One of the puppet monsters in Russ’ workshop looks like Troggg’s long lost brother! Have a look:

Grant 1Grant 2Troggg with Toiley T. Paper

Grant and Russ 1

Grant and Russ 2

Troggg got to chat with Toiley T. Paper after a successful run of comedy puppet shows at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He’s also about to perform at the Hollywood Fringe Festival:

And then Troggg had a casual discussion with Stanley and JAX about air travel:

So it’s been another fun and busy week of puppet adventures with Troggg!

We’re now in Denton, North Texas – about to start lessons at the big “Beyond the Sock” film & TV puppetry workshop at the University of North Texas. The teachers are a couple more Henson puppeteers – Marty Robinson (Telly Monster and Mr. Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street), Noel MacNeil (Bear, from Bear in the Big Blue House), and Pasha Romanowski (builder of puppet characters from New Zealand’s “The Moe Show”) .

We’ll leave you with Troggg’s guest starring episode of “The Fuzzy Beard Show” filmed in New York City:

 

Sesame Street Muppets and Jimmy Fallon Celebrity Photobomb

Here’s a great article from toughpigs.com about the recent “Celebrity Photobomb” segment from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. It stars the Muppets of Sesame Street. Watch for the look of wonder in the eyes of the kids later on in the video. Priceless. The magic of puppets!

Watch Sesame Street Muppets and Jimmy Fallon Photobomb Kids

Not 4 Kidz at Brisbane Comedy Festival 2016

Brett Hansen is providing puppetry consultancy for this Brisbane Comedy Festival show at the Brisbane Powerhouse in March. Details below.

ImproMafia presents: Not 4 Kidz at Brisbane Comedy Festival 2016.Brisbane Comedy Festival

FOUR SHOWS OVER THREE WEEKS

Grab your cereal and settle in for a completely improvised parody of your favourite childhood shows.

Return to the glory days of children’s television! Brisbane comedy favourites ImproMafia are stepping back in time to present an improvised homage to the shows that made your childhood great.

Join a perky host and a puppet just aggressive enough to avoid copyright infringement, then save the planet with an animated eco-warrior, deal with Canadian high school dramas or go ‘round the bend with the supernatural. Made up on the spot from your suggestions, it’s all up to the audience how these cheeky parodies play out.

(Sorry, kids – this one’s for the grownups!)

5.30pm Saturdays 5 – 19 March
8.30pm Thursday 17 March
Rooftop Terrace, Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets $23*/16*
Bookings essential – click link above!

Photo by Images by Anderson.

*An additional fee applies to each booking transaction. Single tickets $3/multiple tickets $6.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/552700871561884/

StarNow and LinkedIn

Brett Hansen’s StarNow profile lists details on the various puppetry projects he’s been involved in through Larrikin Puppets, and in theatre, film and TV: http://www.starnow.com.au/LarrikinPuppets

The Larrikin Puppets LinkedIn company profile can be found here. You are most welcome to follow and share these profiles on social media.

 

 

Troggg meets Agro and Beppo the Clown

During one weekend in October 2015, Brett and Troggg got to rub shoulders with legends of children’s entertainment!

Troggg with Agro.Remember Australian puppet character Agro? Puppeteered by Jamie Dunn, Agro was on TV all throughout the 1980s and 1990s on shows like The Hi Hello Show, Seven’s Super Saturday Show, Wombat, The Super Sunday Show, Boris’ Breakfast Club, Agro’s Cartoon Connection, The Main Event, Family Feud, Tonight Live with Steve Vizard, etc. Elissa with Agro

On Friday, 23 October 2015, Elissa, Brett and Troggg went along to the Studio Theatre and Cafe to catch a performance of “Agro Up Late”, starring Jamie Dunn, Jill Ray (one of Agro’s co-hosts in the 1980s) and Agro himself. Troggg, Brett Hansen, Jamie Dunn, Agro.

There was a meet-and-greet in the foyer after the show, and that’s when Troggg got to meet his hero Agro.

The next day, Larrikin Puppets performed a puppet show at the Goodna Jacaranda Festival. Performing just before and after the puppet show was the legendary Beppo the Clown (aka Barry Cannon).

Troggg with Beppo the Clown

Barry has been performing as Beppo the Clown since 1960. He’s now in his 80s and still going strong! Brett chatted at length with Barry (who also used to appear on Agro’s show in the early days) and learnt a lot about the children’s entertainment industry over the last 50 years.

A quote from Brett: “You know you’re doing something right as a children’s entertainer when ‘Beppo the Clown’ tells you that your puppet show is engaging, entertaining and contains appropriate and catchy songs for the litte ones. I should’ve asked him to give that to me in writing!”

 

 

It was a very special couple of days, being able to rub shoulders with childhood heroes Agro and Beppo the Clown, who helped inspire us to bring happiness to kids in the same way that they did for many years before Troggg came into the picture.

Troggg Brett Hansen and Barry Cannon as Beppo the Clown

Troggg, Brett Hansen and Jill Ray-Black

Troggg and Agro.

A Different and Interesting Puppet Life – by Brett Hansen

Garden City Library Puppet ShowI like my life because every day is different and interesting. Last week I performed puppet shows at a library, a fish & chips restaurant and a school.

 

 

I attended four dinner/drinks gatherings, including one in a back alley American style bar and one on a union roof top.

Troggg with puppet characters Hobble and Snitch.This week I got to meet two goblins (Hobble & Snitch) and perform some puppetry on their show.

Brett with Gary Foley puppet in Richard Bell film project.

 

 

Then for a film, I puppeteered a psychiatrist in a session with acclaimed artist Richard Bell. For the same film, I also puppeteered two characters relaxing on a beach, a monster throwing darts, another monster painting on canvas, and lead a team of puppets on horses galloping into a nightclub.

Thank You For Being A Friend Puppet Show.I attended a theatre tribute show of 1980s sitcom, “The Golden Girls” (Thank You For Being a Friend) starring puppet versions of the cast.

I also performed music at the weekly improv comedy show I’ve been a part of for the last four years.

 

On Monday, my beautiful wife Elissa and I will be flying down to Melbourne (with Troggg) to attend the National NEIS Association Awards Gala Dinner. Larrikin Puppets is a finalist in the ‘BizCover NEIS Change Award’ category.

The reason why my business is a finalist in that particular category is because my life went through some huge changes at the time of its inception three years ago.

And whether I win the award or not, my life is better than it ever was before three years ago because every day is now different and interesting.

Brett Hansen – Owner and Principal Puppeteer at Larrikin Puppets.