"Good old fashioned children’s entertainment for the children of today…"
The roots of the Lisa's Puppet Theatre go back one generation. To a time before television and computer games had replaced the art of live children’s entertainment. You might remember seeing Giggles and a few of her friends at country fairs or around circus big tops. They still strut their stuff across Australia, but with Lisa now. They’re the longest standing members of an original handmade puppet theatre. If your parents never took you to see a puppet show when you were young, don’t despair. Lisa continues the tradition! So just remember, the good ol’ fashioned fun of the Puppet Theatre was never meant to be just for kids!
Lisa’s puppet stories are special in that they teach children to be aware of danger and to take action – a theme Lisa has returned to again and again since the very first show she scripted. That’s over twelve years ago now. Lisa and her puppets have come a long way since then. But they’ve never lost touch with their country roots, frequently returning to out-of –the-way places. Lisa travels everywhere from Mt.Gambier to the Mallee, Gippsland and beyond. Of course, you meet some interesting characters on tour – enough to inspire two puppet shows about Australia’s identity! She’s learnt that it’s not the yarn, it’s how you tell it. And doesn’t everyone love a story told well? The puppet theatre is time consuming and emotionally taxing work. But the rewards are there in the smiles and laughter of children as they participate in the energy of a live show, experiencing the thrill of Lisa’s puppets coming to life. These things we can all appreciate as measures of great kids entertainment.
An Independent Review of the Puppet Theatre
“Clown meets psychologist in this musical theatre production from the circus tradition.” The presentation of the Lisa's Puppet Theatre reflects the storytelling and Lisa herself. Bright and simple. Lisa has a childlike quality that often belies her keen intelligence and exceptional talent for expression. This is witnessed in her dexterity with marionettes and hand puppets.
The star of the show is the endearing Giggles the safety clown, a ‘veteren’ of the entertainment world. Giggles’ anthem,“I can look after myself!” recurrs in many of Lisa’s shows. Others characters making up this charming ensemble include everybodys Grandpa & Grandma, Goldilocks, Corcovado the alien and Yalim the Aboriginal. Though there are many more, in fact Lisa is currently working on a new collection of completely hand made puppets which she is designing herself.
The Puppet booth itself is large and bright red with white stars cascading across it. Lisa paints the scenery back drops herself, some of which are very good. The kids love to meet the stars of the show and have a back stage tour of the theatre, which Lisa offers at the end of each performance. Speaking for the oldies I found the show surprisingly humourous. Lisa includes some clever and original sight gags and makes sure the children are always interacting with the puppets.
"The bottom line is that the kids seemed to love it, & were held spellbound for nearly an hour."
Lisa usually gives some introductory entertainment on her guitar which is not just an add on. She has a beautiful sweet voice which anyone could enjoy and her years of experience shine through with the way she handles the children so effortlessly. Aside from all the fun, there is a strong emphasis on safety throughout Lisa's shows. It is clear she is not afraid to confront some difficult subjects, however, as an endorsed trainer with "Protective Behaviours", a movement dedicated to bringing protective behaviours into schools, she is well qualified to do so.
Importantly, as parents and teachers, we should not feel embarrassed about watching Lisa's Puppet Show. The issues she addresses are important ones for adult and child alike. We should take in the special 'safetey message' each show offers, if not for our own benefit, then atleast to better undertand how we can help our children to help themselves.
- Bruce Skeggs, Journalist & .host of "Personalities on Parade" 96.5 INNER FM.
Some of the Shows...
Following are three brief descriptors to give you an idea of what the shows involve:
A Space Adventure. A show of mystery, excitement and imagination! Where’s the story teller? How can he present the show if he’s disappeared in an alien spaceship? Little Cassandra meets the alien being and is transported off on an adventure, seeing sights beyond all imaginings! But the alien has to return in case he turns back into himself. Ah! Did Cassandra really go on a space adventure, or was it only a dream? And if it was real, how safe is it to go for a trip in a space ship with someone you don’t know?
Goldilocks Learns a Safety Lesson.In this unique presentation of Goldilocks and the three bears, Giggles the Safety Clown teaches safety and positive thinking to children in many subtle and significant ways. The show features “Everybody’s favorite Grandma & Grandpa” who provide some very amusing characterizations. Highlights of the first half of the presentation include Henry Hedge Hogs biscuit barrel explosion and Grandma’s accident when all the children have to help wake up Grandma. The second half tells how Goldilocks learns her Safety Lesson with the three bears.
A Swagman’s Dream. This is a lovely slice of Australiana, featuring Yalim the Aboriginal, Jeannie, a woman who lived on the goldfields and a menagerie of Australian animals. A Swagman’s Dream celebrates the diversity of different people and animals in our country through juxtaposing opposite characters in situations where a mutual respect is formed for who one another are – not what they appear.
What People are saying about the Shows...
“When Humphrey Bear is at Eastland, we don’t usually get a crowd for our children’s program, but with Lisa and her puppets, we had good crowds every day.” -Ringwood Square Staff.
“Lisa’s got a really great puppet show. She really gets the children in.” - Dawn Maddison, Promotions Manager, Milleara Shopping Centre.
“The children enjoyed the play and were interested in the way that it was performed, something that was evident later on when we had our own puppet day.” - Dale Ranson, Primary School Holiday Program Coordinator, City of Darebin.
“Why aren’t you here every school holidays?” - Jessica Wilson, aged 8
SHOW SUMMARY & TECHNICAL INFORMATION- SHOW RUNNING
TIME: Approx. 40 minutes.
* APPROX. 2 Hour set up.
2.1 metre x 1.5 metre x 1.2m. PUPPET BOOTH
** INTRODUCTORY ENTERTAINMENT SPECIAL EFFECTS LIGHTING SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM BACKSTAGE TOUR AFTER SHOW APPROX. 2 Hour pack-up
*THIS TIME IS NEGOTIABLE.
**A SMALLER PUPPET BOOTH IS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE INCLUDED.