The rude puppet show that blew Oz away roasts everything in its path
This article is from 2008.
‘If you put Disney, Les Mis and Queen in a blender, it might sound a little like our show,’ explains Sammy J, the delicately framed Antipodean whose puppet show Forest of Dreams is hoping to charm Edinburgh audiences. ‘That said,’ he continues, ‘the opening song is titled “Fuck You Disney” so the tributes aren’t always affectionate.’ A gentle reminder then, that this puppet show is for adults only. The titular wood itself is discovered through Sammy’s kitchen cupboard and features magical characters who proceed to mock everything. ‘I try to create shows that I find funny myself,’ he says of his sometimes raw humour. ‘At the moment I find theatrical stuff appealing, particularly blowing all our money on stupid jokes.’
The show, which received a Barry nomination in his native Melbourne, is constructed with Sammy’s musical talents, and an array of 14 puppets created by Heath McIvor. Sammy met McIvor through a mutual friend, a foul-mouthed comedian puppet named Randy. ‘It was some of the funniest stand-up I’d seen,’ recalls Sammy, ‘let alone the fact it was being performed by a puppet.’ Deciding to combine forces for a full-length show, Sammy and McIvor seem to have created a successful partnership: ‘he provides the skill, I provide the skinny.’
Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, 2–24 Aug (not 11), 6pm, £9.50–£13.50 (£8.50–£12.50). Previews 31 Jul & 1 Aug, £6.