Bunyips are creatures from Australian Indigenous mythology seen as servers of important warning from the land. They live in creeks, riverbeds, waterholes and swamps, emerging to terrify and sometimes devour animals and humans. In the 1880s bunyip sightings were reported in the Australian press and lonely, isolated white settlers/invaders wondered and worried about the existence of these native Australian monsters.
The Snuff Puppets are honoured to co-present Nyet Nyet’s Picnic with a team of Indigenous artists. The show features over a dozen huge puppets and original live music with the world of bunyips comes to life through humour, terror and fun.
The show premiered on the banks of the Yarra River as the cultural highlight of the City of Melbourne’s Reconciliation Week in 2005.
**Puppets from Nyet Nyet’s Picnic are also presented as a roaming act (Bunyips).
Assitej Festival, South Australia 2008
Castlemaine State Festival, Castlemaine 2007
Nyet Nyets Picnic School Workshops, Big West Festival 2005
City of Melbourne’s Reconciliation Week, 2005
Nyet Nyets Picnic Parade, Moomba Festival, Melbourne 2003
Original Creators: John Harding, Andy Freer, Earl Rosas, James Wilkinson, Ian Pidd, Nick Barlow, Daniele Piodomani, Ben Fox, Katrina Gaskell, Suzanne Kalk
Collaborators and Performers: Nick Barlow, Tony Briggs, Corleen Cooper, Jania Charles, Gary Donnelly, Dennis Fisher, Daniell Flood, Jason Jai, KT Prescott, Earl Rosas, PJ Rosas, Naretha Williams, Robbie Avenaim, Carolyn Briggs, John Harding, Wal Saunders, Dori Dragon Bicchierai
A Red Neck Ranger character wanders around the site doggedly trying to enforce his ‘No Camping’ rule where the Indigenous kids have settled for the night. Visually impressive but somewhat aimless, his character really comes into its own when his head catches fire. Snuff Puppets have always excelled at capturing moments such as this—grotesque, eccentric, flamboyant and faintly nauseating
…the monstrous creatures in Nyet Nyet’s Picnic carry more weight in Aboriginal culture than our traditional European fairytales. The powers that these mythical creatures exercise are taken very seriously, and as such serve an essential role in educating children about the dangers of misbehaving. Do the wrong thing and a bunyip or a giant hairy man may punish you.