Famous Puppet Death Scenes: oddly moving

Christian Butler

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Famous Puppet Death Scenes is one of the more wonderfully weird offerings at this year’s Fringe. It was created by the Canadian Old Trout Puppet Workshop back in 2006, and this current production has been brought over to Edinburgh by the Fringe’s CanadaHub initiative. The show knits together the deaths of a wide range of puppets from various fictitious shows. The bizarre vignettes vary from the hilarious to the oddly moving.

The design of the puppets is deliberately grotesque, and the action plays out beneath miniature proscenium arches, with curtains opening to reveal endless new sets. The puppeteers occasionally reveal themselves for comedic effect. But there is pathos among all the ridiculousness. The compere, Nathaniel Tweak, ruminates throughout the show on why humans enjoy the portrayal of death in stories, and on whether the audience will care when he has his own puppet death.

A brilliant adventure in the absurd.

★★★★☆

Christian Butler is a spiked columnist. Follow him on Twitter: @CPAButler

Famous Puppet Death Scenes is at King’s Hall until 26 August.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

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