Take the ride of your life

Scenes from the Puppet Caravan show, which will be performed once-only in Lismore, this Saturday, before hitting the road.

Next Monday an intrepid troupe of North Coast puppeteers will set out on an extraordinary journey across the Nullarbor.

The Puppet Caravan will travel from the east to the west coast of Australia, visiting 25 towns, performing 75 shows and travelling more than 12,000km as they make their way to the 2008 World Puppetry Festival and Congress in Perth.

The festival is the biggest puppetry event ever staged in Australia the Olympics of puppeteering and the Puppet Caravan is hoping to set a new Guinness Record as part of their quest. During the journey they will hold puppet making workshops in schools and communities as part of the Million Puppet Project, and, by the time they reach WA, they hope to hold the record for the most puppets in one place at one time.

The Puppet Caravans North Coast crew are giving locals a taste of what they have to offer at a special farewell performance this Saturday, February 23, where youll get to experience four quirky puppet shows for the price of one. The show is for all ages and there are several intervals where you can join in puppet-making workshops and create your own character for the Million Puppet Project.

The puppet shows being performed include the local production ...before a duck, a Michael Leunig inspired collaboration between Lismores LightnUp, producers of the Lantern Parade, and Kyogles Krinkl Puppet Theatre. They take classic Leunig images and words, weave them with life-sized lantern puppets and shadows to create a whimsical journey through the internal seasons of the soul the ups, downs and watery bits.

There is also Krinkl Puppet Theatres Meltdown. In this show all your questions about global warming are answered by two puppeteers dressed in snowsuits who fight to defeat the evil Green House Gas Monster and save the polar bears.

Emma Newman of Two Frocks fame is the brains behind Lady Bags, a show in which she reveals different facets of her personality every time she dons another handbag.

Last but by no means least is Creeping Carnival, which combines puppetry, theatre and circus. Hand puppetry choreographed to music, the characters themselves are created from everyday objects such as brushes, whisks and sieves. Simplicity and imagination are key to this incredible performance, which has come all the way from Switzerland.

This strange and spectacular farewell show is on at the Star Court Theatre this Saturday from 12.30-3.30pm. Tickets are $16 for adults or $40 for a family at the door.

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