Let me introduce you to Blue the Puppet, Alamanda the Awkward Prawn, Toilet Duck Man, and Malcolm and Miranda, the Outsized Cushion Couple.
This suprememly confident troupe have a fluidity and grasp of their material that should take them far.
They're an odd assortment of characters to put together, but put together they are, and work well they do, as another famous puppet would say.
A Puppet Named Desire, the latest show from fringe favourites Stickyback, is loosely based around the themes of dating and desire and sex and love and all that other stuff.
Using only props they've cobbled together themselves, our band of four intrepid Stickybackers embark on a journey of seriously funny proportions, running through sketch after sketch, each one a hit (sometimes literally) with not one miss. That's such a rare thing at any fringe that I nearly fell off my uncomfortable Dukebox chair.
Dan is mates with Blue, a Muppet type puppet, and wants to go on a date. Blue thinks he can help. Obviously he can't, but hey ho, there's no stopping him trying. These two pop up throughout the show, aiming to get Dan the girl, and in-between we have sketches and shadow puppetry in equal measure.
Let's get this straight. This isn't a puppet show to take your kids to unless you want them to see Sid the Happy Bunny, a shadow puppet so, er, large that he'll make their eyes water. Done in the style of a wartime information film Sid, or Rampant Rabbit as he should be renamed, is a happy sort, bouncing around his dingey dell but oh dear, does he keep getting himself into trouble! Naughty Sid!
And have you ever wondered what a young, trendy vampire makes of his old dear vampire dad (nostalgic Nosferatu)? No? Well, Stickyback will tell you anyway with the aid of a silly costume, some sad eyes, some slurping noises, and a 'simplicity itself' lighting trick.
There is of course cross-dressing, flirting with audience members, people dressed as kitchen cleaners, bad puns, the oldest jokes in the book as well as the newest, and...oh...puppets! I did mention the puppets, didnt' I?
This suprememly confident troupe have a fluidity and grasp of their material that should take them far. Catch them now in a tiny venue with bad seating and you may well be boasting about it to your mates in a year or so's time.