Puppet Fiction review

Published on: July 12, 2017

Filled Under: Theatre, What's On

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After playing 200 shows to sold out and packed rooms around the world, Puppet Fiction returns to Auckland for the first time since 2013 for five nights only at the Basement Theatre.


It was a full house for the opening night of a now sold out run of Puppet Fiction or ‘Pulp Fiction with strings’. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like – the entire film is performed with marionette puppets with all the gore and foul language of the original. 


This is a must-see for any film buff as they really do cover everything, and even add in other classic movie and local references for extra comedic value. Jules and Vincent get to drive around Auckland with the help of a TV monitor acting as their scenery backdrop. Every mistake or puppetry mishap just adds to the shows overall brilliance and charm. Each performer jumps into full improve mode each time fingers and strings get tangled or as they try their best to make characters kiss, shoot and punch.


The show had me mesmerised, and at times I even forgot I was watching puppets. The attention to detail on each marionette is outstanding. These ultra-violent Thunderbirds are performing til Saturday the 15 July at Basement Theatre. However, the show is almost sold-out so get in quick or you’ll have to fly to Edinburgh to see the final run of the show as it plans to go into hiatus after 2017. But don’t worry it’s part of the free fringe so it’s only the cost of a flight to Scotland (and maybe a taxi from the airport). 


The show is brilliantly performed by three Puppet Masters: Anya Tate-Manning has great chemistry and comedic timing with her co-puppeteers, Jon Coddington’s  Travolta and Walken impersonations pulled me even further into the show and James Nokise’s improvisation adds even more hilarity to this already brilliant black comedy. Puppet Fiction is an ultimate homage to Tarantino’s classic so let them lay their hilarious puppeteering vengeance upon thee.


Reviewed by Ian Wright

Puppet Fiction is on at Basement Theatre until 15 July.

5 stars