Larrikin Puppets is a nominee in the 2018 Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence & Innovation Awards!
We’re very happy to be a nominated business in the Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence & Innovation Awards this year. Puppets are quirky and puppet businesses are niche, so it’s nice to receive a bit of recognition. Winning an award would be amazing and very good for the growth of this plucky little puppetry business. Fingers crossed! We’ll see how we go.
The Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence & Innovation Awards aims to underpin economic diversification and sustainability through the recognition, reward and support of business growth, invention and innovation across the Region.
Australian kids entertainers Larrikin Puppets (based on sleepy Bribie Island – North of Brisbane in Queensland) spent three months in the USA for professional development in 2016. Much of this time was spent meeting Jim Henson puppeteers, and participating in some formal training.
In New York City, we attended casual puppetry workshops at The Puppet Kitchen with Michael Schupbach. There we met several other puppeteers – both independent performers and Henson stars from Sesame Street and The Muppets, as well as cast members of Broadway’s Avenue Q.
Brett participated in the intensive Beyond The Sock workshop at the University of North Texas under Jim Henson puppeteers Marty Robinson and Noel MacNeal, both involved in Sesame Street and The Muppets. Marty is known for being the performer of Telly Monster and Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Noel is known for his lead role as Bear from Bear In The Big Blue House.
We also spent a bit of time in Los Angeles with Jim Henson Company puppeteers Grant Baciocco and Russ Walko.
Left: Troggg in front of The Jim Henson Company (Hollywood, California). Top Right: Troggg in front of Kaufman Astoria Studios (Queens, NYC), where they film Sesame Street. Bottom Right: Frazzamatazz and Brett performing (in Denton, Texas) under the watchful eyes of Henson puppeteers Noel MacNeal and Marty Robinson during the ‘Beyond the Sock’ puppetry workshop.
Larrikin Puppets are visiting the Banana Shire as part of the First 5 Forever program, a State Government initiative. They are performing in Biloela at the “Family Fun in the Park” event (14 Sep), and in Baralaba (11 Sep), Moura (12 Sep) and Taroom (13 Sep).
The First 5 Forever program aims at developing literacy in the under 5s, the program motto is “Talk Play Sing Read”.
Our first show in the Banana Shire was at Baralaba State School on Tuesday, 11 September 2018. Students from Prep to Grade 2 at the school, plus visiting kids from playgroup and kindy and their parents came along to see the puppet show and had a great time!
Looks like Troggg had a great time in Baralaba too! Here he is talking about it:
Our second show in the Banana Shire was at Kianga Memorial Hall in Moura, where we had 63 kids from local playgroups and kindys come along with their parents! Everybody had a fantastic time watching the puppet show and we had lots of positive feedback from parents during the meet-and-greet.
Our third show in the Banana Shire was at Taroom Library where we performed our Story Time With Larrikin Puppets show for all the families and kids under 5 in the community. So many happy little faces and lots of laughs from parents and kids alike.
Our story of the day was ‘Too Many Teddies’ by Australian author Glenn Martin.
The audiences absolutely loved Troggg’s little sister Marina at this show! They were all very delighted to meet her and Troggg after the show for high fives, chats and photos.
Here’s Troggg on a lonely stretch of road between Taroom and Banana to tell us his side of the story:
Our final day in the Banana Shire was the performance of two puppet shows at a special First 5 Forever family fun day at Melton Park in Biloela. We performed our story time puppet show first at 9:30, followed by a combination of our festival show and childcare show at 10:30. Lots of parents with their little ones, as well as playgroups and childcare classes came along to enjoy the puppet shows, petting zoo, face painting, arts and crafts and a jumping castle. We had lots of positive feedback from parents and teachers afterwards.
Such an epic and time consuming set up and pack down on a very hot day, but worth it for all the smiles and laughs during the puppet shows. That’s why we do this!
And so we said our goodbyes to the Banana Shire and headed off on the long drive to our next overnight stay, which was in Jandowae. Here’s Troggg reporting from our accommodation there just before we headed off to our next destination – Toowoomba – to run two puppetry performance workshops for Shoebox Theatre Company.
YouTube sadly cuts Troggg off at the end of this video – but he’s about to tell us about “The Bureau of Magical Things” – Episode Eleven. I (Brett Hansen) worked as a puppeteer on that episode of the show. Full video Troggg’s Jandowae report can be found at this Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/LarrikinPuppets/videos/327369644497049/
Thank you for having us, Banana Shire! We hope to visit again! 🙂
After performing in Hervey Bay at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic – a community family fun day organised by Condy Park Kindergarten, we set off on our journey to our next destination – Boyne Valley.
We travelled on unsealed dirt roads to our accommodation in Ubobo last night, then headed to Nagoorin State School first thing this morning.
We found Boyne Valley to be very peaceful. Hot during the day and quite chilly at night and in the early morning. According to the video above, Troggg describes the weather as ‘crisp’.
Nagoorin State School was just lovely! The teachers and principal Nicki (she lives at the school) were very nice. And the students were amazing as well! The whole school consists of just ten students between Prep and Grade 3. For our puppet show today we had some visiting students join us as well from a neighbouring school and a kindergarten.
It worked out well that the school found us because we are booked to perform a week of puppet shows in the Banana Shire (Biloela, Baralaba, Moura and Taroom), and Boyne Valley was on the way. Country schools like this rarely get to see live performances, so our puppet show was very well received today. Everybody had a great time!
Says Nagoorin State School in a Facebook post: “This morning we had a visit from Larrikin Puppets. It was so much fun and very entertaining. We even had willing volunteers that helped out with the dance number. Then we had volunteers to be right-hand puppeteers (definitely adding this skill to my resume). There was lots of singing, dancing and jokes. The students have lots of ideas for their puppet shows now. I can’t wait to see them 😀. Thanks so much to our P&C for providing this great educational experience.”
Troggg has a brand new puppet van! Eventually we’ll get it all wrapped with our colourful branding and imagery.
We do so many regional trips and tours these days. It was time for an upgrade from the hatchback.
You can book Larrikin Puppets for puppet shows, story time shows and puppetry performance workshops all over South East Queensland, Central Queensland and interstate too. Ask us about our pricing and travel surcharges.
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.
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.
– Three final puppet shows at Woodford Folk Festival, after a full week of performances there.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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).
– Two puppet shows for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day in Kingston and Woodridge.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
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.
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!