Adult puppeteering

Adult puppeteering is the use of puppets in contexts aimed at adult audiences. Serious theatrical pieces can use puppets, either for aesthetic reasons, or to achieve special effects that would not otherwise be possible with human actors. In parts of the world where puppet shows have traditionally been children's entertainment, many find the notion of puppets in decidedly adult situations—for example, involving drugs, sex, or violence—to be humorous, because of the bizarre contrast it creates between subject matter and characters.

Adult puppeteering appears in many forms. In the US and UK it is more easily found on screen. Television satire such as the UK's Spitting Image provides a strong link to the earlier traditions of Punch and Judy or Commedia dell'Arte as sources of social and political commentary. Puppetry sitcoms such as the US series Dinosaurs feature puppet characters who are entertaining in themselves, not as satirical figures. Adult puppet theatre has a strong tradition in Asia and parts of Europe, and has a smaller presence in Australia, the UK and the US. Handspan Theatre from Melbourne, Australia, toured internationally with its innovative and often surreal adult productions.

Puppeteers and companies that perform for adult audiences

Television programmes


Live performance

See also

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