Review: Puppet Jam

2 years ago
Stacey Waters

The description of Puppet Jam sounds all kinds of amazing. A multitude of puppeteers, cabaret performers and more – all running through a range of eccentric and unique skits and performances throughout the night? Sign me up.

As an initial word of warning – the venue, The Rattlesnake Saloon, has positioned the box office to be part of the bar, which means it is impossible to easily pick up tickets when the bar is busy (which is, honestly, most of the night). To avoid worry over missing the start of the show, I would suggest arriving a good half hour early to collect tickets, or ensuring that you have a digital copy handy as to avoid the rush at the bar beforehand.

The show itself is an array of spectacular puppetry throughout – with the host of the show seemingly a giant jar of jam (thus, Puppet Jam I’m guessing). The sketch like nature of the show ensured that the audience never saw more than 5 – 6 minutes of a singular puppet or character – ensuring a rapid array of entertainment throughout the night. The atmospheric nature of the audience was perfect for the absurdness that followed, with all viewers cackling with laughter seemingly non-stop throughout.

As a mention, if you are like myself – quite short – do your best to avoid sitting on the smaller seats the back. The full effect of puppetry is quite reliant on the visual aspects and you may struggle to see anything (as most of the performances are quite closely situated to the lower half of the stage). While I did immensely enjoy all parts of the show that I saw – where I was seated meant that I unfortunately wasn’t able to see most of it. Quite disappointing considering I think one puppet sketch was Jurassic Park themed – honestly, if I thought it had been possible I would have climbed onto someone’s shoulders to be able to see that one. Puppets plus Jurassic Park? It’s like the writer was in my brain.

Do not go into Puppet Jam thinking you’re in for a stock standard puppet show – go in prepared to see quite brilliant creations, stories, performances and puppetry. And then realise that anything you’re prepared won’t be enough for the full force of Puppet Jam.

Puppet Jam is showing at The Rattlesnake Saloon as part of the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased here.

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