Melbourne Festival program

October 18, 2022
30 years of Melbourne Festival
Augustines Circus Spectacular (landscape) small


Deliciously dark, comedic demise of a once great circus ringmaster.

Augustine’s Circus Spectacular. A one man show blending circus, puppetry, time travel and physical theatre. Unfold the chaotic and calamity filled life of a once great circus ring master from his career highs to his complete and total demise. Tumble backwards and forwards through time and meet the characters that reveal a dark, comedic, and powerfully emotional journey of danger, excitement, romance, disparity and murder. Leave your children at home, have a stiff drink and prepare to be smashed in the face with theatre!

Written by/ Holly Stoppit (UK) and Billy Paul

Directed by/ Holly Stoppit

Performed by/ Billy Paul

July 9, 10, 11 & 12 @ 8pm | La Mama Courtyard Tent

Part of the Adult’s Program


A giant popup book ghost story for kids!

Experience a dark tale of spooky proportions that literally pops up from the page! Prepare for unexpected surprises, scary shadows and shoes that walk themselves. Local performer and puppeteer Theresa O’Connor combines popup books, puppetry and ghost stories into a chilling and thrilling experience. Add to the mix an exhilarating sound design by J. David Franzke and you’ve got an experience not to be missed! Are you ready for what lives inside the walls?

Performance and Puppets/ Theresa O’Connor

Sound Design/ J. David Franzke

Dramaturgy/ Dan Goronszy

A Salt and Poppet Theatre Production

July 10, 11 & 12 @ 11am | La Mama Theatre

Part of the Children’s Program

Suitable for 10 years +


A spooky tale of smelly gremlins, friendship, and coming home.

Come huddle by the gypsy camp-fire for an intriguing tale of adventure. Join the gypsy bard and her cat Magnolia, who in between naps treks to the other world seeking out her missing human companion, with smelly gremlins fast on her trail! She encounters an ancient golden turtle, a merry shoemaker and must solve a mysterious riddle to find her way through the dark forest and home again. As the little cat grows bolder and wiser, will she return as a cat or transform into something else… Old-fashioned storytelling at it’s best featuring hand and shadow puppetry, A little bit spooky and a lot of fun!

Inside the walls smallCreated and performed by/ Melissa Edwards

July 7, 8, & 9 @ 10am | La Mama Courtyard Tent

Suitable for 3 years +


A ramshackle inventive tale of trickery and intrigue. For kids!

Mr Keys presents Max and Moritz, a rollicking cautionary tale written in 1865 by the adored artist and poet of Germany, Wilhelm Busch. Heralding the modern day comic strip. Max and Moritz brings to life a tale of misadventure, morality, revenge and the ultimate downfall of two young boys. Thick with Plot, Steeped in Rhyme and generously Peppered with Slapstick, Max and Moritz twists together a glorious, ramshackle, handcrafted world of puppetry with a fast-moving cavalcade of intriguing characters.

Directed and performed by/ Megan Cameron

Live music performed by/ Katrina Wilson

Original music score by/ Dirty Nicola and the Spud Hussies

July 7, 8 & 9 @ 2pm | La Mama Courthouse

Suitable for 6 years +


A beautiful, familiar story unfolding out of a giant pop-up book.

Like a child’s dream come true The Miss Muffet Show unfolds out of a giant pop-up book. When the Dish runs away with the Spoon the audience is taken on a hilarious journey through the best-loved stories of childhood. But this is a junior thriller jam packed with unexpected twists and turns, so the children quickly forget themselves and call out advice and warnings to favourite characters such as Old Mother Hubbard, the Queen of Hearts, the Big, Bad (inept) Wolf and above all the feisty Miss Muffet. Combining story, song, illusion and puppetry, this ingeniously designed show delights the eye and warms the heart.

Lantern Tales Main Image smallCompany/AboutFace Productions

Creators/ Annie Forbes and Rebekah Wild

Performers/ Annie Forbes and Tim Denton

July 8 & 9 @ 11am | La Mama Theatre


Sideshow fun meets spooky puppet surrealism performed inside a horsefloat.

Mixing the fun of the side-show with spooky surrealism, Nightmare is an 8 minute puppet & sensory experience performed inside a horse float to an intimate audience of eight. Shepherded by a spine-chilling Usher, the audience are escorted up the ramp into an enclosed nightmarish dreamscape where golden skeletons pursue runaway tongues, puppets pop-out, mysterious scenes magically emerge, sensory thrills strum on nerves and the audience are propelled towards an unforgettable climax……I dare you to enter.

Created by/ Such As They Are – Eliza-Jane Gilchrist & Mark Penzak

Sound by/ Jacques Soddell

Costume by/ Lulu Lala

Developed through Castlemaine State Festival

July 9, 10, 11 & 12 @ 5.30pm | La Mama Forecourt

Entry by Gold Coin


Otto dreams of flying. But bears can’t fly… can they?

Otto has a dream. He wants to fly. But bears can’t fly…can they? Ultimately he discovers that it’s all in the mind. Otto Learns to Fly is performed by a collection of vintage puppets and objects in The Magic Lantern Travelling Puppet Theatre. Then the action explodes into the wider world on a much larger scale with Sanctum Theatre’s life-sized body puppets.

Presented by/ Magic Lantern Studio and Sanctum Theatre

Devised by/ Gonzalo Varela, Lachlan Plain and Julian Chapple

Performed by/ Lachlan Plain and Julian Chapple

July 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 @ 12:30pm | La Mama Forecourt


A surreal puppetry show investigating our complex relationship with death.

A surreal multi-disciplinary performance and installation art project that debuted a Sold Out season at Little Tengu in Preston as part of last years Melbourne Fringe Festival. This redevelopment brings performance and installation into the same room. Delivered into a strange land with creatures both beautiful and grotesque, a nostalgic boy is inspired on an odd journey through a world of death’s limbo. Set to original music, this immersive puppet driven piece weaves audience through a world of death and grief, asking, “Why is it hard to surrender to a childlike feeling of unknown?” Post Mortem is a collaborative exploration of our one inevitability: death.

Devised, Designed and Performed by/ Lauren Redpath, Alex Gellman, Cat Scobie, Hannah Curtis, Annie Pfeiffer, Carly Fern, Anna Gordon

July 9, 10, 11 & 12 @ 9.30pm | La Mama Theatre


Action-packed to inspire children to create their own puppets

Completely dressed in newspaper two intrepid puppeteers begin by folding and tearing newspaper creating a little finger puppet, the image of themselves, which leads into the smallest ringed circus imaginable. These tiny stars perform vaudeville slapstick, impossible transformations and hair-raising feats of daring. With humour and imagination the performers demonstrate how to create and perform finger, glove, rod and shadow puppets, with the methods easily falling within the ability of most children.

Max_And_Moritz__05small MissMuffet small Nightmare 1 small

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