Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beware The Snuff Puppets!


Snuff Puppets is an Australian puppet theatre company that was founded in 1992.

Originating in Canberra as part of Splinters Theatre of Spectacle, Snuff Puppets moved to a dusty warehouse in the industrial working class suburb of Footscray in Melbourne, and are now based in the historic Footscray Drill Hall. Snuff Puppets founding members were Pauline Cady and Simon Terrill and the current Artistic Director, Andy Freer.

The company tour nationally and internationally, with shows on the streets, in circus tents, theatres and at rock concerts. Snuff Puppets combine the elements of puppetry, live music, visual and physical theatre. The company refers to its 'roaming acts' as 'interventions' as Snuff Puppets specialize in creating mayhem in the streets, playing with traffic and shoppers.

Subjects that are considered taboo are tackled, with 'a vulgar, irreverent, gratuitously violent and a comic sensibility'.

Snuff Puppet elements: ‘a blackly dangerous humour, an incisive political satire, shamelessly handmade visual aesthetic; populist, free, joyous conflagration of art, audience and artist.’[2]

In the past the company had an interest in direct action on political issues. Over the years this had included appearances in dozens of political rallies and support for world peace, third world debt relief and support for asylum seekers.

Snuff Puppets has performed in over 15 countries, including tours of Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, England, Ireland, Western and Eastern Europe.

Local communities have worked with Snuff Puppets in workshops held in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, Indonesia, England and at the World Social Forum in Brazil.

The troupe has won the 'Spirit of the Fringe' award from Melbourne Fringe and the 'Adelaide Fringe 2006 Circus / Physical Theatre Award'.

The Australian Federal and Victorian State Governments support Snuff Puppets with annual Arts Funding

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