Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: They Came From Uranus

A mildly amusing puppetry burlesque show with a vague plot but such marvellous puppets!

A mildly amusing puppetry burlesque show with a vague plot but such marvellous puppets!
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Presented by: Murray Raine Puppets Australia
Reviewed: 12 March, 2023

Murray Raine’s campy lip-syncing puppetry is fun, featuring stellar puppets and costumes for a range of characters. He’s in need of a storyteller however, to provide his overall production with a worthwhile storyline.

The vague plot is of an alien obsession with social media superstar Miss Candy Carcrashian, the lead act at Busty Barb’s house of burlesque. Told through predominantly still images and a bit of shadow puppetry, the story is a half-hearted attempt to loosely link the puppetry drag acts and give Raine time to change characters. The dramatic conclusion is anything but dramatic, making the overall narrative lifeless and anticlimactic.

But what puppets they are, from buxom Miss Candy herself to celebrity impersonations! Raine provides the face for each personality, wearing all black against a black curtain so he can manipulate the puppet’s bodies and extremities. These dancing, flirting, living dolls are marvellous to watch. They entertain to hit song after hit song.

With a dramaturg to work with him on telling a story, Raine could have quite a hit on his hands, raising more laughs then smiles, but as it is, it’s his forte in puppetry that saves the day and places They Came From Uranus a bit above a simple curiosity.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis

Venue: Empire Cabaret @ Wonderland Festival Hub, Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide
Season: 12-19 March 2023 at 6.30pm
Duration: 55 minutes
Tickets: $30 – $35
Bookings: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/they-came-from-uranus-af2023

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