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Rants Of Ringo 
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Reality Check: Is Anything Real?
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Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Impro Show 2009
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Russell Kane: Human Dressage
Russell Kane’s Fakespeare: The Tragickal Saveings of King Nigel
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Randy's Postcards From Purgatory
From the puppeteer behind Sammy J In The Forest Of Dreams comes a brand new comedy about a life misled and a puppet unhinged. Join Randy as he rants his way through tales of disastrous career moves, romantic miscalculations and incredibly poor life choices.
Although Heath McIvor has been a puppeteer for over 10 years, Randy's Postcards From Purgatory is his debut solo show. The foul-mouthed yet lovable Randy has enthralled crowds on the stand up circuit from Melbourne to Edinburgh.
Heath most recently collaborated with musical comedian Sammy J to co-write and perform in Sammy J In The Forest Of Dreams, playing sold out seasons at the 2008 Melbourne Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London's Soho Theatre and the 2008 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Heath McIvor, the puppeteer who so stunningly brought last year’s Melbourne and Edinburgh hit Sammy J And The Forest Of Dreams to life, has gone solo. Or rather, Randy, his foul-mouthed purple foam-and-felt creation has.
In Postcards From Purgatory, the misunderstood muppet tells us through a drink-induced haze the story of his disastrous life, drifting from job to job while trying to nurture an ill-fated relationship with his lover, Polly.
‘I also do children’s parties’ is the clichéd line for offensive stand-ups, and here it’s true, as the washed-up Randy ekes out a living trying to entertain the neighbourhood brats, whom he clearly despises. But here, as in the rest of the show, there’s no acknowledgment to the fact that he’s a puppet; he’s just a flawed bloke, trying to make the best of a life made miserable, largely by his own hand.
He’s a character with real depth, is Randy. Though made of sponge, he’s been fleshed out with a detailed back story. This could easily be a human stand-up recounting their own self-pitying, self-loathing story in festival-friendly monologue – but because it’s not we’re left guessing how much is invention and how much is McIvor’s own experience.
This is not bang-bang-bang funny, but a grown-up piece of storytelling, often witty but always compelling. Some moments of silliness punctuate the show – the Flashback Yeti being a particular favourite – and there are segments that could be standalone, acerbic stand-up, but this is more about getting laughs from character, not just the simple joys of seeing a puppet swear.
In what must be a physically demanding role, hidden beneath a desk for the entire hour, McIvor proves himself talented puppeteer, infusing his simple creation with real emotion with the slightest of movement. But he also proves himself a master anecdotalist, and it’s the depth of his well-told story that keeps the audience hooked.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Highlight of the festival for me! The script alone would stand up were it being acted by a human. McIvor has created a character with depth, ascerbic wit and wonderful self loathing. Go see it!
This show has developed since this review a lot since this review - it's a lot tighter and funnier since Melbourne in April