Not your average improv show, ‘Show of Hands’ features Jim Henson-style puppets performing theatresports games popularised by television show ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’. If you’ve ever watched an episode, you would have joined millions of people in marvelling at the cleverness of the performers. ‘Show of Hands’ combines that cleverness with puppetry skills and the outcome is an ingenious crackerjack of a production.
Greeting people as they enter the venue is a pretty, blue, furry monster who is so cute and friendly she makes you smile. Getting up close and personal with one of the props (or should I say stars?) helps you to appreciate the quality of the puppets and the hours it must take to create them.
The dim lighting and melodic tunes coming from the talented accompanist enhance the ambience, while creating controlled anticipation before the puppeteers come on stage. When the show begins, however, there’s another nice surprise; the audience see the full bodies of the puppeteers performing to a camera, which is projected onto a big screen for the real puppet show. This is a show within a show!
Improvised puppetry is an innovative concept and definitely worth watching; and when you do, be prepared to laugh, offer one-word suggestions, and be impressed.
Co-produced between Larrikin Puppets, Edge Improv and Odyssey Entertainment, ‘Show of Hands’ is playing four nights only (18, 19, 25 and 26 May) during the 2018 Anywhere Theatre Festival.