Tiger Lillies, Punch and Judy

Review in Issue 16-3/4 | Autumn 2004

When you were a child did you ever cover your ears and sing ‘la, la la’, so that you couldn’t hear what people were saying? After this performance I did just this as my two companions had completely opposing opinions of this show. So, my unbiased opinion!

Well, singer Martyn Jacques still has the most amazing falsetto voice, and the drummer and double bassist/saw player support him well. The choice of Punch and Judy as a vehicle for the Tiger Lillies’ dark songs, twisted sense of humour and sideways take on the world could be perfect. The naively drawn back projection and filmed story was at times evocative, but mostly felt flung together, and the giant inflatable Punch and Judy was at first comic, but quickly became repetitive and dull, although I did enjoy the extremely graphic giving-birth scene. Finally the elements of live performance meant that Martyn Jacques had to keep exiting, which destroyed the flow of the performance.

I would have much preferred a simple, pared down song cycle, with the Tiger Lillies grouped close together under a spotlight. This would have been extraordinary enough. The need for the theatricals was not apparent, and did not provide either entertainment, or an alienating effect so that the story had a wider resonance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-3/4
p. 25