Things are getting hard now

Getting hard to find

Your liver’s pica lily

Your kidneys are unkind

Wake up every morning

You’d lie if you felt fine

Stick your fingers down your throat now

Nihilistically inclined

This Tiger Lillie line

You’re hungry for the glory

None the radio you mind

The alcohol consumes you

Pica lily is your mind

The feasting on the table

But only scraps and crumbs you find

You’re angry and you’re bitter

Your head is full of dimes

Well that sir

Tiger lily line

You wake up every morning

When the clock forgets to chime

You go to sleep each evening

On the whisky and the wine

That’s Tiger Lillie line

That’s Tiger Lillie line

That’s Tiger Lillie line

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Sarah and Jacob run their own company, the Lemony S Puppet Theatre, performing works that often combine real actors and puppets to create a ‘magical realism’.

Visit Lemony S Puppet Theatre's website: www.lemonys.net.au/

Read their Performer Profile.

 

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An online Festival is completely new for us and we hope you enjoy the performances.

Victorian Seniors Festival Reimagined 2020

Lemony S Puppet Theatre - Week 6

Tristan Meecham

Sarah, Jacob, from Lemony S Puppet Theatre. Welcome to In the groove. First question – what is it about puppetry that makes audiences feel more than human?

Sarah

When you go to the theatre, in general, when you watch something on the telly or a film, whatever, and you’re looking at actors, you know that what you’re looking at is someone pretending to inhabit a role. You know, we have that phrase, suspension of disbelief, and I think that puppetry is one step further than that. We suspend our disbelief that it’s not real and we go even deeper and we believe that it’s alive, even though it’s actually a puppet. The puppet is created only for that particular role, whereas an actor plays, hopefully, thousands of roles in their career.

Tristan

Part of your collaboration, you have really innovated the form of puppetry. Can you talk about some of these innovations?

Jacob

Whenever we make a work, we make a work from the basis of story and then we match the best form of puppetry which will best tell that story. For example, when we did Captors of the City, we worked with an animator called Dave Jones. He wrote a computer program which created an animated rat which we manipulated using an iPad, with a puppet animation tool.

Sarah

The digital projected rat could respond to the other actors and it could interact with the audience’s responses.

Tristan

Well, speaking of the fact that many of your puppets are more than human, I hear that you may have some that you could show us.

Sarah

Sure.

Jacob

Yes, absolutely. From our very first show called Apples and Ladders, this particular puppet perhaps was once human. This guy is sort of from the depths of hell and this is from our latest show.

Sarah

Our latest children’s show, actually.

Jacob

And this is called Lump. This is the Picasso and his dog and this is the main star outside of Picasso, Lump. So, he’s a dog which is certainly not human but also in the design, we wanted to – if you can see his legs it’s exposed wood. The designer was really looking at wanting to combine the toy-like nature of the puppet itself and a more realistic kind of interpretation.

Tristan

As well as collaborating together in your wonderful company, you’ve also established the Melbourne Puppet Festival. What is it like to come together and celebrate so many people that love that artform?

Sarah

Well, it’s terrific, actually. Why we started it was because there’s so many puppet companies around Australia. Micro arts companies that have been booked by agents to go out and do things in the community. We approached La Mama about doing that because their venues are so beautiful and small and intimate that you can almost recreate what it’s like being in the kindergarten with all those little kids sitting on the floor. The last festival, we had a Cambodian puppet maker and puppeteer come and he taught people the traditional way of making shadow puppets out of cured leather and, I mean, it’s just a fantastic opportunity to learn something new from someone else.

Jacob

And it’s a great opportunity also to connect with Australian Cambodians. Connect all these different communities within Melbourne as well. To bring them into La Mama and kind of just cross-fertilise our own experiences.

Tristan

Can you introduce the piece and a little bit about why you’ve chose this particular excerpt?

Sarah

This piece was actually the beginning of everything. It was – we developed it originally as an audition piece for Jacob when he was auditioning for the College of the Arts and that’s what this Apples and Ladders story is ultimately about. About neighbours connecting over the fence, through tragedy. And that’s really why it came to our mind to perform this piece at this time.

[Song]

Things are getting hard now

Getting hard to find

Your liver’s pica lily

Your kidneys are unkind

Wake up every morning

You’d lie if you felt fine

Stick your fingers down your throat now

Nihilistically inclined

This Tiger Lillie line

You’re hungry for the glory

None the radio you mind

The alcohol consumes you

Pica lily is your mind

The feasting on the table

But only scraps and crumbs you find

You’re angry and you’re bitter

Your head is full of dimes

Well that sir

Tiger lily line

You wake up every morning

When the clock forgets to chime

You go to sleep each evening

On the whisky and the wine

That’s Tiger Lillie line

That’s Tiger Lillie line

That’s Tiger Lillie line