We perform puppetry at a lot of events with cakes. As you can imagine, birthday cakes are the main attraction at the birthday parties we visit. But we see cakes at Christmas functions, special events where Troggg is the puppet MC, childcare centre celebrations and various other occasions.
Whenever Troggg or one of his puppet friends has made it onto a cake, it’s always very amazing to us. We’re not a corporate empire like Disney. Larrikin Puppets is a small business, and people have made cakes featuring our characters! How cool!
Here are four occasions where this has happened:
1. Troggg cake (2017). Melanie’s 3rd birthday party in Kallangur. Melanie’s mum Andrea has a friend called Katie who made this very detailed cake of Troggg’s face! Look at the fur and hair! Troggg loves cakes! This one was like he was looking into a mirror! 2. Troggg cake (2014). Injune Under 8’s Day. They don’t get much in the way of puppet shows in the outback town of Injune (an hour out of Roma). They made a Troggg cake to celebrate! It’s not often you travel long distances to find that they’ve made cakes with your characters on them! There he is waving at us! This was a wonderful surprise.
3. Monster puppet cupcakes (2014). Brett’s wife Elissa made these cute little cakes for their first Valentine’s Day together. They’d only been dating for a few months at the time. The two middle faces are our friends Troggg and Flossy.
4. Monster puppet cake (2012). Brett’s friend Kate Rohde from ImproMafia is a bit of an expert at making cakes. She enters cakes into the Ekka cake contest every year! Back in 2012, Kate made this cake featuring Frizzby and the other (unnamed) blue monster. Brett played piano at the weekly ImproMafia comedy shows, and this cake was in celebration of Brett’s acceptance into the cast of ‘Avenue Q’ that year.
So there you have it. It’s only happened four times, but they were four very heartwarming times. Perhaps you’d like to consider making cakes of Troggg and the gang. We’d like to see a Flossy cake or a Frazzamatazzz cake! Go on! Here they are below for reference!
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.
Brett and Elissa spent the weekend in Maryborough, which is a country town located on the Mary River in Queensland, Australia, approximately 255 kilometres north of Brisbane. It’s part of the Fraser Coast.
Maryborough is the birthplace of author P.L. Travers (1899 – 1996), which was the pen name of Helen Lyndon. She went on to write the Mary Poppins series of books (there were 8 in total). After much interest in the character, and persistence from Walt Disney, a film was made about Mary Poppins, which is a much loved classic.
Every year, the town of Maryborough celebrates the art of storytelling and performance at The Mary Poppins Festival, and Larrikin Puppets were invited to present puppet shows and puppetry performance workshops at the 2017 event.
The puppetry presentations were held in the Maryborough Excelsior City Band Hall all day on Saturday, 1 July 2017. Troggg’s face was even drawn in chalk on a sign out the front!
Puppet show audiences were treated to the zany antics of Troggg, Flossy, Moss, Frizzby, Frazzamatazz, the Cheesecake, Freerange the Chicken and their animal friends with a Mary Poppins twist. Workshop participants enjoyed a hands on (or hands “in”) lesson on some of the techniques behind the workings of Muppet-style hand puppets, which included a Mary Poppins themed, choreographed, lip sync and dance along with all the puppets!
One of the lovely workshop participants was puppet builder and performer Alison Crane from Maryborough’s own Aunty Alison’s Puppets! Check out her Facebook page and website.
Troggg had a really nice day at the Mary Poppins Festival, and particularly liked the vintage cars driving around at the event.
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.
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.
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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.
And behold – the grand Puppet Blogs medal of honour – proudly displayed below.
Thank you very much to Anuj Agarwal (Founder of Feedspot), and all of the panelists who painstakingly sorted through thousands of puppet blogs and websites to come up with the top 75.
Brett Hansen Puppet Showreel – Short Version (2 Min, 45 Sec). This shorter version features clips from puppet shows, Vox Poppin’, Juiced TV, Cluck! The Web Series, Heart of a Thousand Souls, 5 for 35, Avenue Q, Thank Troggg You’re Here, The Hobble & Snitch Show, Murra Murra and The Late Nite Show.
Brett Hansen Puppet Showreel – Long Version (4 Min). While only slightly longer than the short puppet showreel, this version again features clips from puppet shows, Juiced TV, Cluck! The Web Series, Heart of a Thousand Souls, 5 for 35, Avenue Q, The Hobble & Snitch Show, Sam The Ham, Murra Murra, The Late Nite Show, Thank Troggg You’re Here, and Vox Poppin’.
Brett Hansen and his troupe of friendly and funny puppet characters, along with his wife and business partner Elissa Jenkins provide top quality entertainment and fun for childcare centres, festivals, birthday parties, libraries and all kinds of other events and venues in and around Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Gold Coast and the Moreton Bay Region.
To be one of the Top 75 Puppet Blogs means that people are reading all about our adventures. From the suburbs of Brisbane to the Queensland outback, and all the way across the ocean to New York, Los Angeles and Texas where we spent several months in 2016.
Our puppet shows and puppetry workshops are suitable for early childhood and school aged kids too, but there’s plenty of humour for parents, staff and teachers to enjoy too. Our puppet blogs showcase a lot of information about these things. Most of our bookings are 30 minute puppet show of songs, games, jokes, skits and comical interaction with the audience, performed in the puppetry style of The Muppets and Sesame Street.
And on your request, we can even incorporate educational content for our school and childcare shows – such as sharing, kindness, exercise, looking after the environment and healthy eating – Just ask us in your booking enquiry.
In most cases, our puppet shows are followed by an additional presentation lasting about 5 minutes where Brett (and Elissa at some of the larger events) demonstrates to the audience how all the puppets work. Then we do a 5-10 minute meet-and-greet were the kids can get their photo taken with Troggg the blue monster. All up it’s about a 45 minute performance. Some of our bookings have been found via reading our exciting puppet blogs.
For babies and 1-2 year olds, as well as children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) we offer an interactive show, filled with all the colour and musical fun of the regular show, but the puppeteer also emerges from behind the stage throughout the show with various cute and fluffy animal puppets for each child to see up close. We have also performed shows in hospitals for cancer patients, as well as shows in schools for the deaf, where translators perform sign language to explain what Troggg and his furry friends are saying. We try to cover these topics in our puppet blogs too.
On the day of any of our events, puppeteer Brett Hansen (and sometimes Elissa Jenkins too at some of the larger events or puppetry workshops at schools) arrives at the venue about 45 minutes before the puppet show’s starting time to set up the stage, sound equipment, props and puppets. The show (as described above) is performed, or the workshop is conducted to the class – complete with full participation using our 40 odd workshop puppets. The 30 minute puppet shows are followed by the 5 minute “how the puppets work” demonstration, and the 5-10 minute meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with Troggg. The puppeteer then packs up the stage and other equipment.
The puppet blogs here at Larrikin Puppets are all about sharing the good news and keeping everybody informed about all that we do. There are several puppet blogs written about our time living in New York City and all the puppetry events, workshops and performances we took part in, our visit to Los Angeles where we spent some time with a couple of puppeteers there, and the advanced intensive puppetry workshop at the University of North Texas called “Beyond the Sock”. All of this can be seen on our puppet blogs.
Brett and Elissa both have a current Blue Cards, and are fully insured, professional, and punctual. Thank you again for reading our puppet blogs. You may wish to enquire about a puppet show, workshop, puppet MC, or any of our range of puppet related performances we have on offer. Just have a look at the drop down menu items at this website. We will perform at all kinds of events and venues. Puppetry for all occasions.
Beaucare in Beudesert said, “An absolutely fantastic puppet show! The children loved it, lots of laughter and excitement! Brett was very professional in his manner, extremely well organised and engaging with the children. Informative and educational show, the children were delighted to be able to touch the puppets and see how they are manipulated. I recommend Larrikin Puppets, incredible children’s entertainers!”
Sunkids at Burleigh said, “We had Larrikin Puppets attend our childcare centre last week and absolutely loved it! Brett kept all 106 children in the centre amused and laughing their heads off the entire time! They are still talking about the ‘cute’ and ‘crazy’ puppets! What an amazing show! Thanks Brett can’t wait to have you back!!”.
Zrinka said, “Seven of us – six adults and a 5 year old – had a wonderful afternoon multi-person birthday and anniversary party with Larrikin Puppets. I briefed Brett with snippets on each person and he incorporated them into the puppet performance with good humour and great sensitivity! There is no doubt the adults enjoyed the show even more than the children! Larrikin Puppets made our party a big success”.
Yosmery said, “My baby loves puppets so I decided to hire a puppeteer for his first birthday. I found Larrikin Puppets show on the Brisbane Kids website and contacted Brett. He was so approachable and professional from the beginning. The show exceeded my expectations. It was amazing. My son, his friends and everybody had lots of fun. Brett tailored it with my baby’s favourite songs. He even created a new one using my son’s name. Brett is flexible with requests. His show finished with a storytelling of our favourite book. If you want to give a special surprise to your loved ones, you have to contact Brett. This is a smashing show!!!”
Tullawong State School said, “What an amazing, fun, funny, enjoyable show. The children from Prep to year 2 had a blast. Laughing, clapping, cheering (very loudly), the puppets even had the children, teachers and parents dancing:) Everyone had a complete ball while learning all about bullying and healthy eating. Brett and his puppets made our day….”