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schlock treatment

tony reck braves the snuff puppets


Snuff Puppets, Snuff Clubb Snuff Puppets, Snuff Clubb
photo Ben Richards
OUR SNUFF CLUBB MC HAS IN HIS MOUTH A SET OF CHOPPERS THAT YOU WOULD NOT WISH ON YOUR WORST ENEMY. AN ARCHIPELAGO OF UNINSCRIBED TOMBSTONES TRANSFIXED IN A SLEAZY GRIN, THEY HOVER ABOVE A BOTTOM LIP THAT HAS A LIFE ALL ITS OWN.

The show begins with the reluctant appearance of Inside Outside Man, poked onstage by a woman wielding an iron probe. Initially constipated in his attempts to evolve beyond his flesh coloured costume, he eventually succeeds, confronting us with crimson muscle and flapping liver. Inside Outside Man is banished backstage. The freakshow continues with the appearance of The Great White Nanna. An incarnation of that huge breasted, maniacal madwoman residing in the haberdashery of your dreams, her hysterical cogito here finds expression in a falsetto and a head of hair self-styled with trowel and concrete. Just what the Great White Nanna sings about remains unclear. But the audience is unperturbed. We know this woman, and she has known our darkest secrets since earliest childhood.

An exploration of the perverse binds this show, and that limelight hog the Puppet Master MC is no exception. Accompanied onstage by a prancing Japanese diva, our MC answers the question we have all been asking. Stripped naked by the MC, it is revealed that six inches of masculinity lurks beneath the ditzy diva’s dress. Our MC then produces a pair of dressmaker’s scissors, reduces six inches to three, and transforms the poor tranny’s bleeding stump into an exquisitely detailed pink vulva. But wait, there’s more. Attaching his colossal nose to his groin, the MC nasal fucks this nascent vulva while the tranny is restrained in a chair. Obscenity charges pending, what makes all this palatable is the astute sense of craft from the puppet design team, and Snuff Puppet's measured commitment to pushing bad taste to its extreme. Snuff Clubb shows that a relentless exhibition of the most base human acts can prove entertaining when removed from any abject or realistic display of that same base material.

Watching an irritating transvestite receive the John Wayne Bobbit punishment for infidelity was superseded by the Sadean ritual of the puppet pensioner sex act, live on stage. An elderly rural couple slaughter a cow and chicken, then use an extrusion machine to make 12 inch lengths of salami. Wife Beryl straps on the salty prosthesis, and fulfills Farmer Bob’s desire for back passage, extracurricular activity. While not as morbidly fascinating as genital transmutation, the above scene was played out with a sense of inevitability usually reserved for Jacobean drama. At show’s end, after being slithered over by a huge white grub, an entertained audience proffered generous and unrestrained applause for a job well done. Thoroughly perverted, this was the most indirectly disturbing act of appreciation I saw during a very funny night in the theatre.


Snuff Puppets, Snuff Clubb, direction Adam Broinowski, Andy Freer, Ian Pidd, text Lally Katz, performers Andy Freer, Adam Pierzchalski, KT Prescott, Emma Bathgate, Ryota Harada, Graeme Leak, Earl Rosas, lighting design Jenny Hector; East Brunswick Club, Melbourne, Nov 15-16

RealTime issue #82 Dec-Jan 2007 pg. online

© Tony Reck; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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