The debate over whether to use an animal puppet or a human puppet or figure has raged for many years. Is there a right or wrong answer? I don’t think so. I think it depends upon your performance style and your intended audience.

In an old issue of the original “Oracle” one of the correspondents remarked that it was unnatural for animals to talk and that vent figures would not ever be replaced. However in that same issue there were examples of popular UK vents, most notably Terry Hall (with his partner “Lenny the Lion”), that successfully used animal characters. With the advent of the soft puppet revolution, spearheaded by Verna Finly and Mary Ann Taylor, these soft creations have gained wide acceptance and popularity. Stu Scott, a former Las Vegas vent, used a crow and a frog to g“reat success. Tom Crowl uses a duck, while I use an alligator named “Karl”. And we all can use them interchangeably with kids or adults.

In short, either animal or people puppets / figures are acceptable. For kids I would tend to lean towards the animals and save the people puppets for an adult venue. But here again, it’s  a personal choice. Find what works for you!!

To contact Mark Wade- kidshowvent@gmail.com


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