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Eurofurence 28 — "Cyberpunk"
Sep 18 – 21, 2024
CCH — Congress Center Hamburg


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Author Topic: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow  (Read 33615 times)


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A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« on: 01.09.2012, 23:06:19 »

Warning this may contain spoilers!
Okay everyone you know the drill.
This is my opinion and what I've felt after the PawPetShow at EF18.
It's just a few minutes after the show so I have most of the stuff still in my head.
Please feel free to discuss the matters, but please don't troll, insult or hate on other people's opinion.
I will do so too ofcourse =)

So here I start.

Let's begin with the stuff I liked about this years show.
First of all the puppets were fabulous. Especially those two arctic foxes. So kewt. I really love the design of them and how they came to life.
That brings me to my second point. The puppeteers were great this year. They brought the puppets really to life, the text was flawlessly and the "head problem" was reduced to a minimum (although i somtimes saw fairlight *giggles*) So a great Kudos to them. Another thing that was very nice this year was the deep red lightning. though I - as many others maybe too - could've killed the person who had the idea with the flash light when defibrilating (is that a word??) Marcus. Grrr
The transition between sets were fantastic. They were informative, funny and exactly the length to be not too long or too short.
those Prefilmed scenes (the together scene and the one day after scene) were fantastic and really well made. I loved those. And the Ending this year was great. It gave a good conclusion to Marcus' Story
Which brings me to my final point: The music. The music during transitions was really nice and it kept the mood high.

Okay well after all the good now come my "not so good" points.
The story. The Idea of the story was very interesting - getting a girlfriend out of the dreams - but the plot itself was pretty unspectacular and boring.
it lacked from all a bit. It lacked a deep deep emotional moment, it lacked a great comedic scene and it lacked a good action scene. This is my 4th EF and I have to say that this years PawPetShow was the lowest of those 4 years.
It could be connected to the fact, that I didn't feel that much connected to the main characters anymore, since it's only for one show and after that not anymore. I don't know how you'll handle it in the future, but it would be great to have a main cast again like Mika and the Gang. It doesn't have
to be them ofcourse, but it would be awesome if they would connect through more than one Shows so people could build a relationship with the main cast again.

Well I think that was all I've got to say for this year's PPS
If i remember some things I'll make sure to add them.

Overall: Kudos to Cheetah for another great year of EF and his great effords, hair and sweat (oh and ofcourse the blood of his slaves)

Thanks for a great time at EF18

sincerly Keidran


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #1 on: 02.09.2012, 07:19:32 »

While not as cathartic, realistic or emotionally touching as previous shows (Unlucky 14, Dreamcatchers, and that really awesome one with the Fennec insurgents), this one was still very good. I loved its dramaturgy (although I somehow expected more volcanic mayhem) and the characters.

The plot was pure fantasy, and I loved how the vixens got to the future thanks to Fortuna.

Shay again filled the intermissions with very excellent voice clips.

The backdrop art was stunning.

The puppeteering was great.

The lighting + smoke were spectacular.

The soundtrack was spectacular.

It can't and shouldn't be measured against the other ones. It wouldn't do POMPEII justice.
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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #2 on: 02.09.2012, 23:30:47 »

Sadly, I must agree with Keidran. The show was OK... but there was something missing... but I can't put my paw right on it... something was truly missing... Don't get me wrong, the music was fabulous, also those interesting tidbits about Pompeii were fun!

If I would rate it, it would be a 8. (BTW: those breaks between were awfully short... only 9 minutes... you really had to ruuuuuuuush to get something to drink/eat)
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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #3 on: 03.09.2012, 01:02:58 »

Well I for one was immensely surprised to learn that this year's show was an ISOT story. ;D On the one hand, that's one of my favorite genres, and if/when you release this on DVD, or uploaded to youtube, I'll be pointing it out on the relavent forums. On the other hand, being a fan of a genre which is basically endless variations on a single one-trick-pony makes me a little jaded. On the prehensile tail, I've also had the chance to gain some actual theatre experience in the past year, which has given me much more appreciation for some of what Cheetah's crew goes through. Thank you once again to him and them for giving us the show in the first place.


There were many things I enjoyed about this show. I liked the dark tone, and how you didn't shy away from the nastiness of the Roman Empire. And the return of even one supersized puppet was very welcome. There was a good contrast betwen the dry, clinical, and (dare I say?) souless delivery that's typical of many older real world historical documentaries, and the reality on the ground. I found myself wondering if you actually wrote it, or simply recorded some actual 60s TV shows; it was very authentic. There was not as much humour as in past years (expected given the plot) but what was left was pitch perfect. I *loved* the rival fans! And I assume everyone loved the Achievements! scene. :D

On the other hand... Dark is not always the same as entertaining. This show reminded me of several major hollywood movies, that won awards and made a lot of money, which as a matter of personal taste I chose not to see. I think the villian could have benifitted from a little bit of moral complexity. I believe this is the first time you've actually shown major villany on stage (Lord Terrion was close, but his villany was implied, and abstract) and I was surprised by who killed him; because usually that role is given to another member of the cast. I was even more surprised that I didn't hear a single mention of pyroclastic flows, which made it hard for me to believe the two leads were experts on Pompeii. ::)

I have mixed feelings about the puppets. Much as I like to gush about the over sized tigers, I'm fond of the folkmanis puppets, and the unique style they've lent DOPE & LSD over the years. Overall I think it was a Brave attempt to take the show in new directions.

One final question though: Was one of the puppeters *really* wearing leaves on their head during the tree scene? ;)


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #4 on: 03.09.2012, 01:47:57 »

It was my first EF and so the first time I saw the PPS
And for me it was so awesome! ^_^
Even if I didn't understand everything the speaker said in his little explanations about pompeii


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #5 on: 03.09.2012, 15:56:46 »

One final question though: Was one of the puppeters *really* wearing leaves on their head during the tree scene? ;)

Yep! ^.^


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #6 on: 03.09.2012, 17:25:19 »

I've been on the EF Pawpetshow since EF 12. And I would say that the show got better and better, reached it's peak on EF 14 (truly magnificent) and got a bit worse from that point every year.
I would like to give a feedback on that show because I think I noticed one or two things.

The technical aspects get better. The backgrounds and the stage probs where made with a lot love for the details.
The puppets are truly the work of a professional. The puppetry and the voices are doubleplusgood too ;)

But what I heard a lot was critic on the story itself.
A lot other guests asked about the ending or said that they didn't understood the whole plot at all. The story was a bit twisted and rushed. First the Fox is rational, calm and boring. The rat is careless and easy going. Just two or three scenes later they completely change their personality with the rat beeing all the responsible and reasonable person and the fox beeing risky and careless. It happened a bit fast and couldn't really convince.
Also to the end it got a bit indecisive: Rescue her! Leaver her alone! Hero dies! erm .... Hero decides for not dieing! Everyone else dies! Everyone else is saved! Loose girlfriend in big romantic scene but be reunited in the end! >.> It felt like: we got ending one and ending two ... let's take both!
Also the scenes itself where a bit off. But that's something where I can't clearly point my finger to it. I would say the scenes usually end in a big blast, a good joke or something. But this year a lot just faded out and left the feeling that there is still something to come. I'm sure others felt the same way because this time there was only a restrained applause after each of the scenes which started usually when the curtain was almost closed.

I also missed the creative part between the scenes. Usually there where animations and videos or fading photos or something ... this year, except for the extremely cool intro, there was only a picture of the coin and a guy reading a wikipedia article.

For the dialoges I would ask for ... less screaming please^^" I got the feeling that there is more of it than needed^^"
Also please reduce the amount of Shitbitchfuckingasscuntslutdick. I have absolutely no problem with this kind of stuff but the growing use of such "strong language" hurts the atmosphere a lot, the characters appear shallow-brained and it's more difficult to empathize with them.
And, as much as I hate it to point at someone directly, I had only one person who I almost never understood. I can't say if it's just Pinky's voice, the accent or the low variation in her accentuation but I's very hard to understand what she is saying.

... And there was no singing. I always liked the songs :P

Overall I had the feeling that the whole plot was ment to be more serious. But that led to the point that the few jokes which where made, like the Freeze Frame scene appeared a bit abadoned and couldn't really take effect.
If I would have to give an advice on that, it would be: try to keep it more funny and entertaining. Serious topics can be shown in a funny way; like the war of the two kitchen tables for oil from EF 12 (if I'm not mistaken) ;)

I hope I could express my thoughts on that topic in a non-assulting way^^"
Despite all of these points I will attend the next show, if possible. Because I've seen in the past to what great shows the PPS-team is capable of :)

« Last Edit: 03.09.2012, 17:27:22 by LeTigre »
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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #7 on: 03.09.2012, 22:06:45 »

Great story, great play, very professional show.

Some czechnological trouble. It may have been better to close the curtain and start over with the scene that started with a soundless dialog.
...happens. Unavoidable.

The cameras feeding the projectors where placed very high, so often the full head of a puppeteer was right in view when they where invisible at slightly-above-head-level. I guess they have to be at that level to work when everyone is giving standing ovations at the end.

In one scene a pupeteer had a GoPro on his head that really stuck out in it's shiny, reflective plastic. (No idea if it recorded anything usefull as they are terrible without lots of light.) Maybe that could be concealed in black or placed elsewhere.

One of the supporting roles stuck out a bit with his voice acting. Sounded like reading from a sheet with a bit of trouble speaking english. I think it was in the bathroom.

I think you found a good mix of serious and easy to follow story and humor.
Not as much a grand drama with impressive closing song as the Deamcatchers.

I miss the original cast but really like the new, larger puppets.
They are so much easier to see and have so many more ways to express themself.
Things have grown so much since singing "sweet like chocolate" behind the overturned table and shooting back when being bombarded with chocolate from the audience. Back in the days...

The arena- and inn-backdrop serving as 2 locations worked well too.
Certainly cut down on intermissions.

So: Great show! You're still outdoing yourself. I expected a lot more things to go wrong then the few bits that where noticable from the audience.
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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #8 on: 04.09.2012, 02:52:01 »

I am far from being an expert. The only thing I know anything about in this context, due to choir experience, is standing on a stage and trying to remember your lines under pressure. And there were only a few, hardly noticable, tiny hiccups on that part so you totally have my respect there.

Toying around with the puppet (Marcus, right?) in front of the bar a bit last night also showed me first-hand how hard it is to properly control one of those puppets, and that was while sitting down on a chair while looking straight at it. I can't imagine what it's like doing it for long periods of time, with the puppet stuck above your head, while crouching down, under the hot spotlights. More respect.

I loved learning more about old Roman times, and Shay's voice is lovely to listen to. I do agree that just the same picture of a coin over and over again gets kinda old, though - I understand it might be hard to get a full animation for each intermission, but showing some pictures to support the story being told might help hold the audience's attention longer. ... what was that thing about phalluses all over Pompeii again? >=3
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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #9 on: 04.09.2012, 14:28:07 »

First I can only agree that it was an awesome story and a great play, specially when you think it was done for one performance only and done in such a way it could almost be played at west end or broadway, or at least off broadway. But it still has both pros and cons.

Pros: Great characters and puppets, great acting and both entertaining and educational story. Amazing scenerys and detailed settings. Without hearing any of theyre singing skills I am preatty sure that the cast could put off Avenue Q if they want to, or Lion King.

Cons: The choosen setting made for unnessery long waiting time between scene changes and thus it made the story longer than neccesery, or with fewer scenes than possible. For such a epic story I would have choosed a fixed scene where a few props moving around would have been the indivdual sets for the different scenes, basicly the starting scene of pompeii but with added things to illustrate different settings and time, thus you wouldnt have needed to change the whole sets and could have spent more time on characterisation and action and less on set changing. Take a look of how its done on major multiscene shows like Wicked, or even one stage shows like Cats.

I also agree that you could have gived the villain more character depth, and maybe made a few more changes in who had the overtake for the scene, now it was fairly "simple" and predicteble, if you got what I mean, but no less great anyway. I also got loss off that the gladiator games was staged like modern wrestling games with good and evil guys, so I missed why the tiger suddenly got so angry. You also had a bad mic on one of the bar scene that made the story hard to follow at that point, but its minor details.

Overall a great show and if you need help with writing and or other creative work for next year I would be glad to help!


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #10 on: 04.09.2012, 16:25:56 »

it was....okay
not the best show I´ve seen, but at least better than the shows of the last 3 years

the backdrops looked great and the voice-acting was better than in most daily soaps (:P)
The background sounds produced a great atmosphere

cons: (please don´t kill me, but in my(!) opinion there are more significant contras than pros)
the voice-sound:
during the normal talking sequences, the sound-volume was (barely) acceptable
but everytime one of the characters screamed, it was physically hurting me

the story:
I´m not a fan of lovestories
that´s why I liked this PPS more than the last few, cause it wasn´t THAT focused on "true love"
but compared to EF11 or EF12, there was close to no comedy
The clips during the 2 pauses got more laughs than the actuall PPS

the idea of explaining some details about the roman ages was a creativ way to bridge the time between two scenes
and like it was said before: Shay got a realy lovely voice
But after the explanations endet, it still took up to 5 minutes of silence and darkness till the curtains opened again
and not just once or twice
it happend after every single scene

you put a lot of time and effort into the PPS
and you deserve our respect
But I´m sure you don´t want to hear only choruses of praise


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #11 on: 04.09.2012, 20:39:28 »

I won't say anything about the story, because the sound unfortunately has become very uncomfortable to me around right before the first break.  It's been like this every year, just this year I wasn't really inclined to endure the screaming.  I tend to like the whole PPS and it's usually rewarding (the ending and the immediate closing ceremony are a great climax of the con, IMHO), but this time I just had to walk out from it :(

There are a few things that add up here and I might have worded this last year and before, too:
  • Let's get the smallest problem out of the way: Sound quality — I know it's hard and I know things can and do break, but it sometimes feels there's too much noise and too little clarity, which might be because
  • everything is just WAY TOO LOUD — I should have brought earplugs. Characters speaking normally: loud. Background music: loud. Characters screaming (which happens a lot): unbearably loud.  The reason might be one of the Deafening Parties™ the day before, I don't know.
  • Characters screaming and shouting.  A lot.  And often.
  • Apropos of background music, the sound tracks' relative volume is off as well (one would think you'd get it right by the third year at the same place) — as the narration is overwhelmed by the background music and it's incredibly hard to understand the speech.
  • A few actors unfortunately still have a very thick German accent that really throws me off, in the sense that I just can't understand most of what they're saying.  For example the character in the arena who asked the protagonists about their scripts, I figured out what was being said from the context a sentence later.  Even though I have an otherwise decent command of the language...
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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #12 on: 04.09.2012, 22:09:11 »

I liked this years pawpet show. The story was quite interesting, surprisingly dark and violent with just the right amount of humor thrown in.
That achievement stuff offered the right amount of comical relive to it. Oh an the tiger kitty was just too cute .. getting it on the nose again and again. ^^''
Okay, given .. I liked last years setting and storyline a bit more, but that's personal taste as I am a huuuuuge fan of cyberpunk stuff.

I have agree on the critic about the sound tho. Especially the explanations during scene changes were pretty much overwhelmed by the background music.

Still I enjoyed the show and felt greatly entertained during the whole length of the show.
Kudos to the whole team for that!


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #13 on: 05.09.2012, 19:22:56 »

I really loved the two arctic foxes, so cute.
But the best part for me was the bath scene with the diversionary maneuver about the pool full of inflatable animals. The ones who were at the hotel pool the night before sure did understand it.  ;D ;D
Thank you very much for that spontaneous last minute joke.

As it was said above, it might have been better to close the curtain and start the scene all over when there was that microphone issue. It also seemed like there was a problem with feedbacks.


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Re: A new year, a new opinion about the pawpetshow
« Reply #14 on: 06.09.2012, 22:04:21 »

I still remember my first EF (17) and saw for the first time of my life a pawpet show. I was completely taken! and at first didn't understand when someone said "I liked the old characters more". I then tracked them down on youtube as far as possible, and understood.
With the size of the audience the puppets HAD to grow. If the EF keeps growing there may come the day when suiters have to play on the stage :-) but you may want to consider to create a core of characters to have in each PPS (did I recognize the goat from CFz correctly?), like Lionel, Mika, Lori and Poke. People love to recognize the characters, even if they can predict their action from their knowledge, and it may save you from building new puppets every year (though that may be the fun, too :-))
I've been to pawpeteering panels, so I have an hint of an idea what work is involved, and I love it.

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