Entertainment Hive 2017

Strassman is the master of puppets

By Honey B

International comedy star, David Strassman, will have Adelaide audiences in stitches with his hilarious brand new show “iTedE”, playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 24 to 29 May. iTedE  is an uproarious take on our technology- laden lives. The sharp- tongued Chuck Wood and loveable Ted E. Bare have been thrust into the world of social media, constantly on their iPads and iPhones, not interacting with the real world. With everyone connected to the internet 24/7, will Strassman get them back under control? David Strassman’s latest show is theatrical irony at its best and this master of puppets is at the forefront of it all bringing world’s most advanced puppetronics to the stage. In a world-first feat, Strassman simultaneously operates 5 characters in a never- before-done 6-way conversation, using a handheld wireless remote control and setting new standards in ventriloquism.  Read what Strassman has to say about his latest show below:   Your latest tour sounds mind-blowing – reminisce with us about how your show has changed since you first started. “My show started out very one-dimensional, just me and a puppet, Chuck Wood. That was back in the 70’s. Cut to: Live on stage at Her Majesty’s with a massive production, sets, lights, music, and the most advanced robotic technology on any theatre stage today!’’   Tell us more about your latest show, which sounds like technology is used to amazing effect. “My latest show centres on the fact that I can’t get Chuck And Ted E. off their screens; checking email and text messages, Facebook and Youtube, Instagram and Twitter. “I’m afraid this technology is keeping all of us from using our imaginations. “By using some of the most amazing wireless and robotic control, I demonstrate our addiction to our screens with a hilarious, live, 25 minute, 6-way conversation between 5 puppets and I, discussing what is real and what isn’t. “It’s mind blowing because I continually break the forth wall, then build it back up again. I suspend the audience’s belief and then bring them back to reality over and over again. “I’m using technology to point out just how addicted to technology we really are. It’s theatrical irony at it’s best.’’   How amazing is it to yourself and audience members to see these beloved puppet characters moving, seemingly, on their own thanks to this robotic technology? “When technology is seamless and invisible, it appears to be magic. That is what I’m bringing to the stage every night.’’   How many puppets do you have on-stage with you at one time. “Six, including me. Lol.”   How hard is it to operate all of these characters and keep the timing tight? “It is extremely difficult. Each finger represents a puppet’s mouth and I’m operating them live for a sustained 25 minute group discussion... and yes, I have stuffed up and put the wrong voice in the wrong puppet!   Your shows have a strong storyline, is this an essential element for you? “Yes. My shows have grown from simple joke telling to a full-on story. “It is a natural progression for an artist to become more complex and offer grand detail in his or her work. “A storyline is essential for that, and gives more magic to theatre. I love it when the lights go down, the curtain raises, and we, the audience are transformed into another world.’’   Is there a downside to all of this technology today and is it fantastic to get people away from their screens and at your live show. “It’s a double edged sword. We used to prohibit any device being on in the theatre; pagers and phones. (Remember pagers??). “Now we encourage people to take photos during the show and upload them to their favourite social media. “We stress to please do NOT disturb the guests sitting around you with your lighted screen. So far audiences have been well-behaved.’’   Which puppet do you have a soft spot for and why? “Buttons the very pissed clown. He’s drunk, honest, and just plain pissed as a fart. Very enjoyable to entertain with.’’   What age range is this show ideal for? “It is ideal for 12 to 90. My demographic covers 4 generations of Australians - 12 to 16 years old accompanied by an adult. 17 – 90, get ready to cack yourself in a great night out. No eight year olds. This is NOT a Wiggles show.’’   It’s fantastic to see you back in Australia again – do you enjoy performing here in Adelaide at the grand old Her Majesty’s Theatre? “Thanks! I’ve been coming to Adelaide since 1992, where I played my first Fringe Festival. I filmed my 2 nd  DVD in Her Maj and have spent many a fun night in Adelaide when I’m not performing. I’m looking forward to a fun week there!’’ Adelaide ADELAIDE  | May 24 - 29   | Her Majesty's Theatre  | 131 246  or adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au   Regional South Australia PORT LINCOLN  | Wednesday 18 May 7pm   |   Nautilus Theatre  |  (08) 8621 2351 or nautilusartcentre.com.au WHYALLA  | Thursday 19 May 7pm  | Middleback Arts Centre  |  (08) 8644 7300 or countryarts.org.au PORT AUGUSTA  | Friday 20 May 7pm  |  Lea Memorial Theatre  |  (08) 8641 9176 or portaugusta.sa.gov.au PORT PIRIE  | Saturday 21  May 7pm  |  Northern Festival Centre (08) 8633 8500 or  c TANUNDA  | Tuesday 31 May 7pm  |  Brenton Langbein Theatre  08 8561 4299  or ticketmaster.com.au This performance is rated MA 15+. Children 12 to 15 years must be accompanied by parents or guardian. No one under 12 years admitted.
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