Fringe Review: Sticks Stones Broken Bones


Presented by Bunk Puppets
Reviewed 3 March 2018

This one man show was devised and written by Jeff Achtem of Bunk Puppets and local performer Hew Parham was brought on board last year to meet the demand for this international hit which has played to sell out audiences across the world. It is the most clever, imaginative and entertaining show I have seen so far in Fringe 2018.

Without spoiling anything I can tell you there is immediate audience participation which is made even more funny by Parham’s wonderful ‘nonsense’ speech. You’re almost convinced that if you just listened a little harder you could understand what he’s saying. Parham gets the kids involved right at the start by asking several to hold pieces of masking tape which he then uses to make his first shadow puppet from a balloon and wig.

All the changes of props and ‘puppet costumes’ are seen by the audience and this adds to the excitement of the event. It also shows kids that they can have a lot of fun making things with ordinary everyday stuff. Using very basic props and cleverly devised puppets – for instance gardening gloves transformed in a horse and its rider – the range of characters we see portrayed in shadow play is incredible.

I especially liked the elderly couple playing chess – amaxing physical dexterity shown here – and the ninja master instructing his pupil – audience participation too. By the way be warned – you’ll have to be very brave if you have a soft spot for teddy bears as Teddy has a rather uncomfortable relationship with several metres of masking tape several times during the performance.

This show certainly lives up to its international reputation and puppet master Hew Parham is outstanding.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 5:  5

Venue:  The Pocket at Stirling Fringe. Stirling Lawns, Coventry Library, 63 Mt Barker Rd, Stirling
Season:  9 March 6.30pm, 10,11 March 11.30am
Duration:  50 mins
Tickets:  $20, family tickets f$17.50 each


Amazing, fantastic, brilliant
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