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2 October, 2019

A puppet show delivered with great skill, humour and technical prowess, for all ages

A show pitched at an audience predominantly aged 7 – 10 years, which runs for 85 minutes with no interval is going to need to be very engaging.

Laser Beak Man was exactly that and more.

At a glance, it was a puppet show delivered with great skill, humour and technical prowess.

On a deeper level, the components of this performance combine brilliantly.

This was the essence to keeping those younger members of the audience fixed on the action.

There was great music written and performed by Sam Cromack and members of his Brisbane-based indie band, Ball Park Music.

Also, the very visually engaging and effective cartoon style projections, on screens both in front of and behind the puppet action, based on artist Tim Sharp’s drawings, made for scene changes which were seamless and easy to follow.

With special effects in the form of overhead drones, and of course the puppet mastery of this tight team of performers and clever puppet fabrication, made for one heck of a show.

As is often the case, dialogue written for a younger audience often holds a deeper meaning more perceptible to the mature audience (think Shrek and Madagascar to name just two).

The writers of Laser Beak Man often provided clever puns, literal representations based on Tim Sharp’s very clever drawings, and witty one-liners.

One criticism I would have was the unnecessary ‘politicising ’ of certain characters, which indeed fell flat with this Australian audience, and further to this was the confusing combination of American/Australian accents and idioms.

This may be the result of writers Nick Paine and David Morton living across both Australian and US locations.

In the main, this show was an absolute delight.

Puppeteer Jon Riddleberger brought to life the otherwise ‘invisible’ Black Sheep.

Maren Earle’s Evil Emily was so sweetly delivered.

This show was 85 minutes of total immersion.