Melbourne Fringe Festival puppet cabaret was a hit

Carol Saffer

When the lights dimmed in the Meeting Room at Trades Hall, and the melodic sounds of Anohni opened the performance of They Came From Uranus, the audience knew they were in for a treat.

Master puppeteer Murray Raine bought to life his extravagant “humanette” puppets performing a humorous risqué show of sexy, sassy and unashamedly decadent displays of high camp hilarity.

In a one-person show, Mr Raine enacted every character with only his face visible atop each outrageously dressed Humanette body.

His perfect lip-syncing to the retro soundtrack of classics like Sony and Cher’s Gypsies, tramps and thieves and Barry Manilow’s hit Copacabana was equally matched with suggestive movements and salacious quips.

Throughout the 50-minute routine, Mr Raine was lightning quick when changing characters, with each costume more startling than the one before.

Designer Isaac Lummis let his imagination run wild when creating the humanettes’ outfits. 

At the same time, Mr Raine handled their bodily dimensions and functions with a degree of hysterical deviancy that got more out of hand as the show progressed.

The storyline is easy to follow, with the show set in Busty Barb’s Bar and cabaret club.

Alien beings from Uranus speed through the galaxies to Earth to capture social influencer Miss Candy Carcrashian, a luscious and lurid burlesque artiste, to return with her, back to their planet in the solar system.

At Busy Barb’s, each character performs while the aliens get closer and closer to capturing their elusive quarry.

When Miss Candy Carcrashian took to the stage with a song titled Just a Little Friendly Cat, the audience laughed until they had tears in their eyes as she sang about “her soft wet hot pussy”.

One of the audience members Dave Lejarcegui said at the end of the show, “it didn’t feel like an hour; it was hilarious, and I will never look at my cat the same way again.”

Also in the audience was Collin Phillips, who was a fan of the show.

“The costume changes were on point, and right from the beginning, when Anohni’s music started, it set the show’s tone for me,” he said.

Mr Raine created the humanettes and co-wrote the show with his partner Neil Ray. •

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