Tag Archives: fringe

Impromptunes presents Puppets! The Musical

As part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival
Butterfly Club, Friday 18th September 2015

I had seen this show coming up and was interested in it as there was a performer in the troupe I had been meaning to see but hadn’t gotten around to seeing her. As it turned out she is going to be in the later run of shows.

I also booked tickets to six sessions of the Jim Henson season at ACMI at the same time as I booked a ticket for this show so I would be prepared. For some reason I was looking on the ABC shop site and saw that Sooty and Sweep puppets were going on sale the week I wanted to go to the show so I decided to buy a Sweep puppet the day of the show.

Sweep and I

As the show wasn’t due to start until 7pm I did my usual walk from work to the LuWOW in Fitzroy, only to find that Sweep had escaped from my bag on the way. Taking the tram back to the Carlton Gardens where I thought I left him I saw him out the tram window placed up on someone’s fence and ran back to grab him.

Sweep! What are you doing there?

I did finally get to have a Mai Tai or two at the LuWOW but not as many as I would like, probably lucky or I would have heckled the show with Sweep’s squeak. As it was I promised I would not squeak during the show to the musical director when I went in to sit down.


Sweep and I at the Butterfly Club

The premise of the show is that the audience suggests and idea and the show is improvised based around that idea including the music which is made up on the spot. I have seen Spontaneous Broadway which is somewhat of a similar concept, but that did not have puppets.

Such as my want I sat in the front row, may not have been the best idea as the performers were not mic’ed up and were trying to reach the back row so the intensity was a bit above what I was comfortable with. I am not sure if they were deliberately doing that to make the show funnier or not.

I had no problem with the songs that they made up or the story. It is a shame that there are no matinee shows as I would recommend this show to kids as there did not seem to be any swearing or adult concepts on the night I attended.

It was just the piano doing the music, but I thought it worked quite well and there did not seem to be any gaps when the songs started. I know a lot of professional musicians who write songs and spend a long time on it so making things up on the spot would be a lot harder.

Of the performers I would have to say that I enjoyed the women in the group the most just because there were more of them. I would like to see some of them in the show again and may do so when the other person I know comes back to do her run at the end of the festival.

It is a great show and I would recommend going to see it alongside the Jim Henson program at ACMI or in between sessions.
I did get to talk to two of the performers after the show and got a photo with the Sweep puppet I bought along, which was great.

Sweep and Impromptunes performers

Getting dinner on the way home


Game Boys

Melbourne Fringe 2014
The Tuxedo Cat – Jackal Room, Saturday 4th October 2014

I had heard of video game inspired shows before in the comedy festival and fringe, but never gotten around to seeing them. This one seemed a bit different due to it being two brothers putting on the show and them sharing their experience. If it was my brother it would be lots of dead arms and teasing, but they manage to bring something different to the show.

There was some acknowledgement by the show’s creators that they expected a male-skewing audience but it is different from the 90s when it was mainly boys that played video games. In my audience there seemed quite a few women who came along with their partners and were happy to be there.

The basic premise of the show is about the two brothers growing up playing video games and the things they learned from them. While it would be advantageous to know the video game trivia going into the show, even you were just a casual fan you should get most of the references.

I enjoyed the Street Fighter II style introduction and that game and Mortal Kombat make up a significant portion of the show along with the competing brothers aspect. I did like the part about Goldeneye and a prop-heavy joke about Odd Job that you have to see to really get.

I also liked that they acknowledged that not everyone was able to buy games each month when they were growing up. Like myself they only received games for Christmas and birthdays and were happy with them. Having to share a single Game Boy on a trip around Australia certainly taught them how to share.

The part about games influencing their education was interesting, as I once had an English teacher who complained on an end of year report that I never wrote about anything except video games.

There were some dance moves and a demonstration of how the composer from Mario Paint is still being used to produce music to this day in a nod to the chiptunes movement.

The show had almost finished its run when I saw it, but hopefully it gets another run during the comedy festival or at some conventions around the place.

I would recommend going to see it if you are at all into games or enjoy game related humour.


Lisa-Skye – Art, Sex & Snacks: The Talk Show

with Jan Di Pietro, Elle Diablo, Laura Davis
Melbourne Fringe 2014
Tuxedo Cat – The Wild Pony, Friday 19th September 2014

Having enjoyed her yearly recap of lesser-known celebrities who have died on the Cracked website I ended up following Lisa-Skye on Twitter and decided to go to her show as I am a bit out of the loop with newer comedians and have been going to see live music more than comedy for quite a while now.

The funny thing about social media is that it can seem like you know people more than you really do due to passing messages backwards and forwards all the time. I was able to sit in the front row without Lisa knowing who I was and probably as I have a chimp as my profile picture.

I do remember seeing posters for her previous shows up in the tools manufacturing business on Johnston St near the Tote, but I had never been to see any of her shows before. The closest I had seen to live was a promo spot on Media Strikes Back on Channel 31.

Due to the chat show format and different guests every night I guess the content would change from night to night. Also the show was having an audio recording made for a podcast.

Sparking up things for the night was the threat of a glitter on anyone who said something that was offensive to the host. A lot of glitter ended up being tossed around any way as did a box of d’Lite snacks for the audience to try and so they would get the joke of Lisa’s “bachelor chow”.

There were some interesting shows talked about by the guests that are happening during Fringe and some funny stories including Laura Davis and the person seeing her on the tram.

The “snack off” was interesting with each of the guests saying what their ultimate comfort food was and Lisa winning as it involved fried donuts and ice cream for breakfast and she had to buy the donuts the night before.

The hour seemed to go by quite quickly and if you already follow Lisa on Twitter or social media I would recommend it (some of the jokes are easier to get if you do.) Sound spill from another show close by was the only issue I had, hopefully it is cleared up for future shows.

Book here:

Jan Di Pietro – Kwality Chai

Elle Diablo – Who Killed MamaShak?

Laura Davis – The Pillow of Strength