What is not to like about an adult puppet show that kicks-off with the Ghostbusters theme song and two ‘vintage’ puppets introducing South Africa’s best –and as he himself also points out, only– professional ventriloquist, Conrad Koch?! This all sets the scene for an evening of fun and laughter with Koch and his puppet crew in Puppet Guy, currently on stage at the Baxter Theatre.
At its core, this is a quintessential Koch show – characterised by witty and intelligent banter. This time around, Koch balances local political commentary with intercontinentally relatable quips, confirming that he is more than just Chester Missing’s side-kick.
Puppet Guy is a comedic representation of the evolution of Koch as a performer. It humorously includes career guidance and therapy reflections, all while Koch revolutionises knock-knock jokes and creates puppets out of cleaning equipment. Under the direction of Chris Weare, this show grants Koch the space to introduce the audience to the puppets who helped him become the ventriloquist he is today. It also allows him to reveal where he wants to take his craft next with the introduction of new elements, such as a Snapchat 'illusion' with which he can turn willing audience members into real-life puppets.
Chester still gets his moment in the spotlight and is, as always, a crowd-pleaser. He takes jabs at Helen Zille and any person brave enough to @ him in a tweet. Koch however adds further depth to his favourite puppet's character in considering every day conundrums, including why Chester cannot smile.
The puppet Koch had to create as an emergency understudy to Chester (when he went missing during an oversees trip) steals the show. In fact, Chester’s understudy may be his biggest competition. Digitally mixing it up with sass and music, DJ Hoodie is the true revolutionary element of Puppet Guy. and a very entertaining personification of Koch’s talent. He is definitely a puppet we hope to see more of in future.
In short, Puppet Guy is Koch's performance-style stripped down to bare talent, with the feathers (and in 'pet' Mosquito instances, even eyes) literally flying. It showcase his puppet transformation throughout the years to reveal a puppet jungle that takes audience members by giggling surprise as he gets them to roar with laughter and bust a move or two.
You have until 14 April 2018 to see Koch amusingly argue with himself at the Baxter Theatre in his latest comedy show, Puppet Guy. Tickets are available through Webtickets.