Titeres Porno

Spiegeltent, Aotea Square, Auckland

14/03/2011 - 19/03/2011

Auckland Arts Festival 2011

Production Details



Humour, art and sexuality combine in this collection of erotic Colombian tales performed by a troupe of anatomically correct puppets.

Contains adult themes and explicit puppetry. SOME CONTENT MAY OFFEND. 

Manolo, a Spaniard who journeys to Colombia to follow his dream of becoming a porn star, striptease queen Brigitte (winner of the 2009 Titeros Porno Award for the best stripper in the world), housecleaner Gladix, her mistress Doña Susana, cousins Mario and Esmeralda are just some of the enticing and unpredictable characters. 

Spontaneous, fun and very rude, Titeres Porno (literally ‘Porno Puppets’) is a spicy late-night show for the adventurous Festival-goer. 

Adentro Producciones (Inside Productions) was formed by Maribel Arango Caravajal Girlenny, Zulima Ochoa, Carlos Perez and John Viana. The Colombian company’s work grows out of their exploration of puppet manipulation and construction, acting, dramatic language and staging. 

Using a cast of sexed puppets – some natural, some medically enhanced – they tell seductive stories that treat cultural and sexual diversity with tolerance and respect. 

WHEN

Mon 14 Mar7.30pm
Tue
15 – Thu 17 Mar9.30pm
Fri
18 – Sat 19 Mar 11.30pm

Festival page
http://adentroproducciones.blogspot.com/  




1hr 30min, incl. interval

Well endowed, open and diverse

Review by Sian Robertson 15th Mar 2011

The Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent is a sumptuous place to sit, with a festive sense of occasion. The occasion being Titeres Porno – literally ‘puppet porn’. Other than the fact that it’s performed by puppets, this is run-of-the-mill porn, complete with visually explicit sex scenes (the puppets have genitalia), and flimsy storylines.

Colombia’s Adentro Producciones consists of five puppeteers: Zulima Ochoa, Girlenny Patricia Carvajal, Maribell Arango, Carlos Perez and John Viana, who are also the creators of the puppets, and writers of the show.

It’s amazing to watch the puppeteers’ considerable feats of coordination, often with three humans manipulating one puppet (each around two-foot tall) in the act of dancing, talking, gesticulating and grinding, all with stereotypical Latin abandon. Occasionally the humans are part of the stories, though they keep most of their clothes on. 

The puppets themselves are quite impressive too; detailed, stylised but anatomically comprehensive, well-endowed. The pink bits look surprisingly convincing, if a bit disproportionate to the actual puppets.

A puppet named Manolo, a Spaniard who has come to Colombia to spread his expertise in the ways of love, introduces the evening’s entertainment, which is a kind of pornographic variety show. Manolo interacts with the human performers, putting them firmly in their place, and prepares us for what’s to come. The introduction is in English, but the rest of the vignettes are entirely in Spanish, with subtitles on screens on either side of the stage.

We glimpse the bedroom of Mario, who’s working on his biceps when his horny cousin comes in and cajoles him into taking off his pants so she can see if he’s really as big as the rumours. At first Mario refuses, but his cousin is persuasive, and one thing leads to another. 

Brigitte, award-winning puppet striptease queen, does a special performance for us, augmented with a beer bottle. 

It’s weird watching porn in a theatre full of strangers. These guys are serious about sex, and they manage to make the puppet sex quite erotic, rather than ridiculous, so it’s definitely more pornography than comedy. There are a smattering of funny lines, absurd scenarios and plenty of hilarious orgasm noises; however, most of the time the audience seemed to be laughing just as much out of nervousness at the vividness and public-ness of it all.

Some of the comic timing was lost when the subtitles occasionally got out of sync: freezing up and then flashing by too quickly to read. Hopefully this was a glitch that will get ironed out for subsequent nights. 

The scene that met with the most squeamish yelps and gasps was the gay male scene – which seemed to be particularly challenging for some people in the opening night audience; more so than the incestuous one. 

Less challenging perhaps, though clichéd, is Gladix the uninhibited maid schooling her uptight boss, Doña Susana, in how to recapture her husband’s interest. 

Later in the show, Manolo seduces Zuli, one of the human actors, and there’s a puppet-human sex scene, which at one point is particularly funny because she is the only puppeteer and has to manipulate the puppet and act aroused at the same time. 

I think Titeres Porno achieves its aim of ‘speaking openly about sexuality’ and celebrating its diversity (it also carries a safe sex message), however, don’t expect too much in the way of storytelling or a cultural or social subtext. It is what it is!
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For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 

Comments

Jack Gray March 15th, 2011

 Cool review! Sounds fun :)

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High energy peep show with strings attached

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 15th Mar 2011

The Spanish title sounds exotic and vaguely poetic but the prosaic English translation – Porno Puppets – probably gives a more accurate description of the show.

The puppetry is amazingly skilful and the wildly energetic puppets capture the bawdy exuberance of a traditional carnival side-show. With up to four puppeteers manipulating different limbs the superbly co-ordinated animation has the puppet figurines dancing, grinding and shaking in perfect time to the pulsating rhythms of Columbian dance music. [More]
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