Happy World Puppetry Day and Harmony Day

Troggg and Flossy wish you a Happy World Puppetry Day and a Happy Harmony Day from the second destination on our 2018 Regional Queensland tour – Maryborough!

#Troggg #Flossy #LarrikinPuppets #puppetry #puppetshow #puppets #QLD #Australia #puppetsontour2018 #worldpuppetryday #worldpuppetrydaytour2018 #harmonyday #bribietorockypuppetrytour #Maryborough

Puppet People and Queensland Theatre of Puppetry

This week, we took the time to visit Puppet People: A Snapshot of Australian Puppetry – an exhibit at the Tony Gould Gallery in the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. We saw puppets by Peter Scriven (Marionette Theatre of Australia), David Hamilton, Phillip Edmiston (The Queensland Marionette Theatre), Bill & Barbara Turnbull (Bilbar Puppet Theatre), Peter Wilson (Handspan Theatre), Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, David Morton & Tim Sharp (Dead Puppet Society). It was very interesting to learn about all of these great performers who paved the way in Australia for current puppeteers on the scene like us here at Larrikin Puppets.

 

We also visited the Queensland Theatre of Puppetry (QTOP) on the Gold Coast, and enjoyed a wonderful puppet show performed by kids. After the show we met with puppeteer Phil Bell (of Timbarra Productions) who runs the events there on the school holidays.

The Queensland Theatre of Puppetry events are held in the Gerda Pinter Pavilion at MacIntosh Island Park in Surfers Paradise. This venue is a dedicated puppet theatre, and is fully equipped with great lighting, sound, curtains, seating, and everything that makes a puppet show look the best it can be. Cost of entry was $6 cash at the door, and all of that money is donated to charity.

2017 Puppet Highlights – Larrikin Puppets

In 2017 Larrikin Puppets turned 5 years old. And what great adventures we had this year! Here are all of our puppet highlights from each month of 2017.

 

January
– Three final puppet shows at Woodford Folk Festival, after a full week of performances there.

February
– Meeting with puppeteer Judy Harris of The Puppet Hut in Tiaro.
– Puppetry workshop for the staff of Happy Feet Fitness.
– Subject of a documentary called “The Puppeteer” by film maker Gabor Kukucska.

March
– Puppet show at Taigum Childcare Centre who later posted a heartfelt reflection about the visit on Facebook with several photos.
– Three after-school drama class puppetry workshops at Citipointe Christian College.

April
– Puppet show at Bunnings Morayfield Easter Family Night.
– Adult puppet show at “Visionary Space” arts event.
– VIP rooftop puppet show at QPAC for the touring cast and company of Julie Andrews’ “My Fair Lady”.

May
– Debut performance of the “Food Allergies” puppet show at Community Kids Coomera.
– Puppet show at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital’s Teddy Bear Fair.
– Troggg as puppet MC all day at The Hills Carnivale (plus a full puppet show).
– Puppetry work in the Tia Gostelow “That’s What You Get” Music Video by Why Not? Films.
– Meeting with puppeteer Mark Rengel of The Mark Rengel Puppet Theatre Company.

Tia GostelowJune
– Attended the What’s On 4 Kids Awards (with Troggg and Flossy) as nominees in Best Party Entertainment category.
– Debut performance of the “Autism Acceptance” puppet show at Maroochydore State School that made front page newspaper headlines.
– Troggg’s second appearance on the “Juiced TV” show.
– Adult puppet show at “Politically Incorrect” costume party.
– Five puppet shows over two days at the Woodford Show.
– Public puppetry workshop at the Bribie Island Community Art Centre’s Vibe Markets.
– School holiday puppet shows in five libraries, including one at the Logan Hyperdome Library attended by an audience of 320 people.

July
– Two puppet shows and two puppetry workshops at The Mary Poppins Festival in Maryborough.
– Puppetry workshop at Centacare St Francis Xavier OSHC in Goodna, under observation by staff from the Youth Touring program (formerly known as Queensland Arts Council).

August
– Two puppet shows for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day in Kingston and Woodridge.

September
– Puppet shows at Kawana Waters Hotel.
– Troggg as puppet MC at the Annual General Meeting of disability organisation R.O.P.E.

October
– Puppet show at South Bank Parklands 25 Year Celebration.
– Meeting with puppeteer Dennis Murphy of Murphy’s Puppets from Sydney (performing at an event in Brisbane).
– Our two-day “Island Puppetry Workshop” at Island Dance, Bribie Island where we had a lovely class of attendees from Sydney, Regional NSW, Melbourne, Mackay, Brisbane and Redcliffe.
– Puppetry training and consultancy for the cast of Avenue Q at Sunnybank Theatre Group.

November
– Puppetry work in the Jonathan M. Shiff production of children’s fantasy-drama TV series, “The Bureau of Magical Things”.
– The first two performances of a lifetime of annual November puppet show bookings at Nurseryland Childcare Centres, replacing the legendary Bernie & Eileen Ehmer’s Marionettes & Puppets after their 47 year run.
– Big puppet show for Santa’s Arrival at Station Square Shopping Centre in Maryborough.

December
– Troggg as puppet co-MC at Moorooka Christmas Carnivale.
– Two big puppet shows at the Bundaberg Pageant of Lights.
– Puppet show at Caboolture Christmas Carols.

Christmas 2017 with Larrikin Puppets

Elissa and I have had another very busy period in the lead up to Christmas, with puppet shows in childcare centres, libraries, staff Christmas parties, and a series of larger festival events and a shopping centre. This has included a couple of memorable shows in Central Queensland.

At Station Square Shopping Centre in Maryborough, we presented our big Christmas puppet show for Santa’s Arrival. A couple of hundred families flocked to see and meet the puppets and of course Santa Claus. Our newest character Marina, who is Troggg’s little sister (pictured left with Frazzamatazz and Santa) made her stage debut, much to the delight of audience members young and old. Marina was a hit!

Above: The big audience enjoying the puppet show. Below: How our puppet stage looked set up next to Santa’s magical Christmas village between Sanity and Big W at Station Square Shopping Centre, Maryborough. 

We then took the puppets up to Bundaberg to perform two puppet shows on the main stage at the 2017 Pageant of Lights. What a magical event that was! Our first puppet show was a 10 minute preview show before the official lighting of the Christmas tree, and the magnificent street parade featuring 70 colourful floats.

Straight after the parade, the wide-eyed children and their festively jolly families gathered again at the main stage to enjoy our full-length Christmas extravaganza puppet show, which featured Troggg and Marina, Frizzby and Flossy, the crazy antics of Frazzamatazz and the always hilarious Freerange the Chicken and Cheesecake. For the big finale number, we chose volunteers from the audience to come up and perform some backup singer/dancer puppets. It was a spectacular night for everyone, and we received some very positive feedback afterwards from families and event staff.

 

Closer to home, we performed a shorter version of our Christmas puppet show as part of the entertainment line-up at the Caboolture Christmas Carols, again choosing audience volunteers for the finale and receiving some lovely feedback afterwards.

Troggg also joined Thomas Gilliland to co-MC the Moorooka Christmas Carnivale (Another Hipster Christmas). The 2016 event was sadly interrupted by a vicious and cyclonic storm, causing quite a bit of anxiety for organisers at the 2017 event. We were all very thankful that this year’s event played out to the end of the fireworks display.

A very busy and rewarding Christmas period for Larrikin Puppets this year! Merry Christmas, everyone!

From Brett Hansen – Principal Puppeteer at Larrikin Puppets.

Santa!

Posted by Larrikin Puppets on Saturday, 2 December 2017

Moorooka’s Hipster Christmas Carols In The Park

Posted by Larrikin Puppets on Saturday, 2 December 2017

Moorooka’s Hipster Christmas Carols In The Park

Posted by Larrikin Puppets on Saturday, 2 December 2017

 

 

 

 

Cakes Featuring Troggg and his Larrikin Puppets Friends

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 make cakes with 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!

 

 

 

 

Frazzamatazz in Townsville, Airlie Beach and Springbrook

Brett and Elissa recently took two weeks off for a “reef to rainforest” holiday.

They visited family up in Townsville before exploring the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef (including snorkelling at Hook Island, swimming at Whitehaven Beach and cocktails on Hamilton Island).

Then they went down south to the Gold Coast hinterland, into the mountains of Springbrook for a relaxing week at “The Mouses House” rainforest retreat.

This was supposed to be a break from puppetry. But that didn’t stop Frazzamatazz from stowing away in Brett and Elissa’s luggage and tagging along.

Here he is at The Strand in Townsville:

And then he came up to the lookout on Castle Hill to see Townsville from above:

Frazzamatazz had a great time at Sunday lunch with Elissa’s extended Townsville family.

Just when Brett and Elissa thought they had a moment to themselves for the drive from Townsville to Airlie Beach, Frazzamatazz made another appearance at Home Hill, where he gave a special shout out to Elissa’s mother:

Not many people know this, but Frazzamatazz is very fond of watermelons. So you can imagine how delighted he was to find a gigantic slice of watermelon at a roadside fruit stand in Bowen. Of course he climbed inside:

In Airlie Beach, Frazzamatazz made friends with some of the cruise ship passengers who were stopping by for the day:

In Springbrook, Frazz made friends with a scrub turkey in the rainforest…

… who then ran away.

All up it was a lovely holiday for Brett and Elissa. And you know what? Why take a break from puppets? Turns out Frazzamatazz was actually great company during the break.

Upon their return, they performed a puppet show at the Kawana Waters Hotel in Buddina on the Sunshine Coast.

 

Australian Puppetry Exhibition at QPAC (QLD)

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.

Some of the puppets on display at the exhibition have been lent by South Australian puppeteer Keith Preston from Preston’s Historic Punch and Judy.

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.

The Mary Poppins Festival in Maryborough

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.

 

 

 

School Holidays with Larrikin Puppets

If you’d like to take the kids along to see a puppet show these school holidays, here’s where to find Larrikin Puppets:


Saturday 24 June: The Woodford Show
Woodford Showgrounds
38 Neurum Road, Woodford
Puppet Shows at 9:30am and 11:15am


Sunday 25 June: Vibe Markets
Bribie Island Community Art Centre
191 Sunderland Drive, Banksia Beach
Puppet Show + Mini Puppetry Workshop at 10:00am


Monday 26 June: Burpengary Library
101 Station Road, Burpengary
Puppet Show at 10:00am


Monday 26 June: Deception Bay Library
9 Bayview Terrace, Deception Bay
Puppet Show at 2:30pm


Tuesday 27 June: Woodford Library
1 Elizabeth Street, Woodford
Puppet Show at 10:00am

 


Tuesday 27 June: Bribie Island Library
1 Welsby Parade, Bongaree
Puppet Show at 2:30pm


Wednesday 28 June: Logan Hyperdome Library
66 Mandew Street, Shailer Park
Puppet Show at 11:00am


Saturday 1 July: Mary Poppins Festival – Day In The Park
Excelsior Band Hall
Macalister St, Maryborough
Puppet Shows at 10:30am and 1:00pm
Puppetry Workshops at 11:30am and 2:00pm


2017 What’s On 4 Kids Awards & Conference

On Saturday, 10 June 2017, Elissa and I had a lovely time with our children’s entertainment and activity provider industry peers at the 2017 National What’s On 4 Kids Conference and Awards.

The guest speakers at the conference taught us a lot about our industry and all the different ways we can share our services with parents and teachers.

We even got to meet TV stars Tina Harris and Mark Harris from Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band – as seen nationally on ABC Kids, Channel Seven and Nick Jr.

The awards night was a fun gala dinner where we recognised all the entertainers and activity providers around Australia who are doing great things for kids.

We were a finalist in the ‘Best Party Entertainment’ category.

Best Children’s Party Entertainment (Party Planners and Entertainers, Clowns etc) sponsored by Lah Lah’s Big Live Band

Winner – Kids Disco Parties

  • Happily Ever Laughter Children’s Entertainment
  • Larrikin Puppets
  • Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties
  • Superstar Parties
  • SuperSteph’s Super Party Heroes
  • Unreal Kids Parties

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.

Brett 🙂