Snuff Puppet Shows

Five Easy Payments – People’s Puppet Project

A giant eyeball scans Ringwood Square collecting data. Spunky staggers through the crowd, trying to scab a ciggy. Roo Girl is lost in the music on her headphones. Scammer is looking for donations, ‘in just five easy payments, the equivalent of a cup of coffee a day’. Roo Girl brushes him aside, but Spunky is a better target. It takes the one-legged magpie to see through the scam and, with the help of Roo Girl, overcome the all-seeing eye and save Spunky from himself.

Five Easy Payments is an outdoor giant puppet performance set in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, tackling themes of surveillance and fraud in the modern world. Five Easy Payments was created by VCAL students from Swinburne University, in collaboration with Snuff Puppets as a People Puppet Project, and in partnership with the City of Maroondah.

Facilitated and directed by Snuff Puppets artists Nick Wilson, Stéphane Hisler, Lachlan Plain and Lauren Bok.

 

 

Images by Stéphane Hisler

Five Easy Payments: A People’s Puppet Project by Snuff Puppets and VCAL Students from Swinburne University is a Maroondah City Council project funded by Creative Victoria and supported by Eastland and Swinburne University.

 

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Snuff Puppets return to Kinshasa

In March 2018, we returned to Kinshasa to run a second People’s Puppet Project with our collaborators; Espace Masolo and Gütesigel Kultur.

Over eight days we worked with 30 artists and created an outdoor theatre spectacle based on the young life of Punch Agathe.

The work was performed at three locations in Kinshasa; Gare Central, Kinkole and Espace Masolo.

This video was shot on the road outside the gates of the Espace Masolo arts centre.

This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

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People’s Puppet Project in Xi’an

Snuff Puppets Artists Daniele Poidomani (Director), Nick Wilson, Suzanne Kalk and Erin Hall are working with over 30 artists on a People’s Puppet Project in Xi’an, China. This project is being run in partnership with the Shaanxi Performing Arts Center.

The puppets will make their public debut at the Xi’an Drama Festival on the 2018 Labour Day festival weekend.

3pm-7pm, Sunday 29th April,  South Wild Goose Pagoda Square, Xi’an
3pm-7pm, Monday 30th April, Wild Goose Pagoda Square, Xi’an
3pm-7pm, Tuesday 1st May, Wild Goose Pagoda Square, Xi’an

More bilingual info here. 

This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.  

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Pacific Gods at Federation Square for Light in Winter

This Saturday June 18, the Australia Pacific Arts Network‘s beautiful Pacific Gods will be celebrating the winter solstice along with four brand new puppets for Federation Square’s Light in Winter Festival.

Peau Kula

Limu, the Tongan God of Death is coming. Moana, goddess of the ocean, sends Lofa, the great frigate bird, as a warning. The water rises. Will Limu reign?

A roving puppet performance about global warming presented by Snuff Puppets and Australia Pacific Arts Network at Federation Square.

Light in Winter marks the longest night of the year with a feast of live music, art, performances and food.

Saturday June 18
5pm – 9pm
Federation Square, Melbourne
FREE

Images from The Light in Winter at Federation Square 2015.

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We’re going back to Japan! わーい

We are so excited to release our short film about our PPP residency last year in Japan. This project was a really special collaboration between Snuff Puppets and local residents of Urada, a regional farming community in Japan and we think this film captures it beautifully. Read the full story of our project.

Thanks to Art Setouchi we are heading back to Japan in March to create another new work through our People’s Puppet Project.

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A Note from Nick: Typhoons, Super-Keen Cucumber Wranglers, and a Chanting Circle

Part Three of Nick Wilson‘s Japan diary:

The final stage of our Japan trip was a week-long visit to Honjima Island, to exhibit puppets, meet the community, run some workshops, make some guest appearances on the mainland, and to present a feature performance in the island’s disused Kabuki theatre.

While statistically the communities of Urada and Honjima might look similar in some ways, we all felt a definite shift in the atmosphere on moving from Urada’s endless green mountains and rice-fields to this small-island fishing village on the Seto Inland Sea. During the ferry trip across, Japan’s longest bridge appeared to neither start nor end, but to bypass the island and disappear in ocean mist on its way somewhere else. Parts of the island are quite visibly abandoned, neglected and overgrown: weeds grow through cracked concrete, and the salty air turns metal fixtures into flaky brown rust before their time. Honjima’s population has fallen from 4000 in the 1960’s to 400 today, of which only 20 are school-aged children. It is one of 12 islands that are host to the region’s Setouchi Art Triennale, another ambitious and immense project by Fram Kitagawa to revitalise dwindling regions through the arts.

Our venue was Chito Tse-za, a beachside Kabuki theatre dated to 1862, and barely opened in the last thirty years. A fine example of the smart simplicity of traditional Japanese construction, the front panels slide open to either side of the building, and the waist-high rails fold outward to form an extension of the stage, which the audience views from outside in a public courtyard. We were instantly charmed by its elegant design, skilful construction and dilapidated ambience. It seemed an ideal gateway into that parallel, slightly surreal world that our puppets often inhabit: where the impossible and the dreamlike can invade mundane streets; where the fictional ‘puppet world’ shares an open boundary with the lives of our audience.

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