Fringe 2015 Review: Big Fat German Puppet Show17 July 2015 / by Jacob Dubé (author)
There’s not many shows around that incorporate Germans, zombies, Tom Waits and Stephen Hawking. But then again, My Big Fat German Puppet Show isn’t like other plays.
Created and performed solely by puppeteer Frank Meschkuleit, his show succeeds at being both utterly ridiculous and completely hilarious. Advertised as a puppet show for adults, the piece features Meschkuleit in a round fat suit, curly moustache and comical German accent as he entertains the audience with segments featuring stand-up, musical numbers and puppets. The 50-minute runtime is packed with as many laughs as possible.
While it is a one-man show, the 99 audience members of the St. Vlad’s theatre were just as big a part of it. Meschkuleit fed off of the crowd’s energy, personalizing his ad libbed jokes and forcing the audience to act; anything from making noises based on your medium of commute to helping him remove a string of zombie barf from his suit. One of the best parts of the night was when Meschkuleit reacted to a heckler, and didn’t leave him off the hook for the rest of the show.
With the help of great voices and sound effects, Meschkuleit brings the puppets to life. Each one brings its own special quirks to the show, which makes for a much-appreciated lack of dull moments. There were times where Meschkuleit seemed barely able to contain his own enjoyment of the performance, which in turn allowed the audience to enjoy it even more.
My Big Fat German Puppet Show is funny, heart warming, and you won’t get the German rendition of Bob Marley’s “Jammin” out of your head for days. With the addition of the surprising reveal early on in the show (where’s the puppet stage?), this play is a must-see.
My Big Fat German Puppet Show is playing as a part of the Best of Fringe 2015 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts on July 18 and 25.