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Our very own Monster Chef and Ratty prepared a couple of dishes at the Smoking Puppet Cabaret in the Wardrobe Theatre on Friday night: Venus Worm Sandwiches and Diarrhoea Dollop Avec un Chat.

All the shows were introduced by Becca Rose and Cori Bona of Gongoozler who were in character as Southern American hicks who declared ‘we make puppets move too’ These puppets included a selection of vegetables, and a farmer who did unmentionable things to his cow… Unsophisticated but very funny!

The acts included a couple known as Winston and Enid performing a piece of clowning called ‘Celebration of Life Party’ in which a member of the audience was picked to have their life celebrated. To commemorate the key parts of the selected participants existence they used an overhead projector to display relevant images on a hung sheet. The predetermined dates of note included : conception, birth, now, and death. Death was my favorite part. The Grim Reaper was portrayed by a simple head with a moving mouth made from card board held up above the sheet, the robed body projected beneath with a convenient slit in place for a gesturing arm to poke through. Nice! The poor girl was summoned behind the sheet and instructed to poke her head through the sake slit at which point a projection of a large space dinosaur type creature appeared to finnish her off. Brilliant!

Next was a shadow puppet version of the Princess and the Pea by P.A.S.T. (Post Apocalyptic Story Telling) I struggled with the pre recorded narration. It’s some thing I’ve done myself in the past and I know it makes the performance easier for the puppeteer but I feel an opportunity to inject charisma into the performance is lost in doing so. That’s not to say the story wasn’t clearly told and the puppetry was charming. My daughter would have loved it.

We were after the interval and suitably disgusted the audience with our shenanigans. It was Monster Chefs first time performing for an adult audience. Glad it went down alright.

Next was Finger and Thumb with some extraordinary hand shadow puppetry. I filmed a section of it. This one Guy Drew Colby is so incredibly dexterous he makes it look easy. Watch this video and if you think it is, find a suitable lamp and have a go.

The Night was rounded off by Gongoozler and their Vegetables. The banana got it.

A highly enjoyable and dare I say it, eclectic evening. Can’t wait till the next one.

Gongoozlers Vegetables at the Smoking Puppet Cabaret.

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