'The Great Puppet Horn' live at VAULT, London (17 Feb '12) // Words: Lauren Johnson-Ginn
Biting political satire and shadow puppets may not seem like the most immediately successful combination, but after having the pleasure of seeing The Great Puppet Horn at the VAULT Festival I can confirm that it works – much like peanut butter and jam, brie and grape and other seemingly unlikely concoctions.
Billed as ‘'South Park' meets 'Newsnight' with a whole load of cardboard’, (but probably owing a little something to 'Spitting Image' too, I think) this brilliantly funny show offers up a series of whimsical narratives, hilarious characters (both real and fictional) and absurd sketches. All of these are performed by two men with a smallish screen, an overhead projector, and hundreds of cardboard puppets.
Written and performed by Jeremy Bidgood and Lewis Young – a director and TV animator respectively – 'The Great Puppet Horn' ridicules political heavyweights and pop culture figures alike, irreverently tackling meaty issues like last year’s riots, global warming, immigration, the economy and the continued popularity of Brian Cox.
Along with the sharp and inventive writing, what makes the show so enjoyable is Bidgood and Young’s frenetic delivery. They switch between characters and voices at a furious pace, carelessly discarding puppets and scenery as they go, with infectious energy.
The dark, subterranean setting of The Old Vic Tunnels leant itself particularly well to this unusual theatre genre but I think it’s definitely worth catching 'The Great Puppet Horn' wherever you can.
'The Great Puppet Horn' was performed at VAULT festival and is on at the Little Angel Theatre on Wednesday 25th April, 8pm.