Typically, ventriloquist dummies are considered sinister and slightly disturbing. Funny and somewhat cute doesn’t quite come to mind when first introduced. Talented ventriloquist, Sarah Jones’ stand up show Creepy Dummy – a part of The Melbourne International Comedy Festival cleverly balanced sweet and eerie meta-comedic jokes with her witty humour, numerous puppet friends and expert shadowgraphy.
Audience members were seated in an intimate theatre under the bar at The Butterfly Club. The cozy venue is renown for their quirky interior and unconventional performances, as it feels like stepping into a treasure trove with artworks scattered amongst the walls and kitsch knick-knacks in every corner.
The downstairs theatre added to the ‘creepy’ vibe of the performance as Jones tells ghost stories to the audience with the help of her bizarre puppets including a 1950’s ventriloquist dummy head, loved up tennis balls and an adorable fluffy dog eager to show his tricks.
There was a lot going on in the show with transitions into different acts appearing sort of clumsy at times with the introduction of new puppets, followed by random animal shadowgraphy skits and then a very clever card trick which was as silly as it was superb. Even though some transitions were a little awkward, the skits were performed excellently and were highly entertaining. Making a frequent appearance in the performance was John Paul Young’s iconic tune Love is in the Air as well as a major highlight being Jones’ outstanding lip-syncing skills to Ginuwine’s Pony through a painted portrait.
Jones’ stage presence was energetic and both her positive and magical connection with the crowd allowed her ventriloquist talent to shine. The show ended with a twist, which was unexpected as well as gratifying. This is definitely a show worth a watch, proving ventriloquist dummies aren’t as bad as they seem.
You can catch Creepy Dummy at The Butterfly Club until the 6th April.