Scarey is the seminal work of Snuff Puppets. First presented in 1995, it has toured extensively throughout Australia and the world. Scarey takes place in the anarchic world created by Snuff Puppets. A troupe of grotesque, out-sized puppets run a show where the special attraction, ‘live on stage’, are humans.
The real is made grotesque and the grotesque real in the nightmarish performance of Scarey.
Exploring themes such as feminism, power, masculinity, ritual and even penis envy by use of visually stimulating theatrics, Scarey sets out to expose that which is inside all of us and that which drives is.Scarey is set in a circus for monsters who have come to see the latest attraction – real live human beings.
Highly atmospheric and evocative, there is no place in this freak show for drawing room niceties. The show is manipulative, whimsical, gory and alluring. Scarey tells the story of a travelling troupe of puppets, their technical crew of skeletons and a troupe of exploited and neurotic humans who are a novelty act in the show. It’s a terrifying glimpse into a strange world, one that the human beings are born into, spend their lives in and eventually disappear during a magic trick.Scarey examines the fragility of human existence when the customary relationship between puppet and puppeteer is reversed.
The performance is an experiment in atmosphere. At times the air is curdled with fear, carbonated with excitement, laden with foreboding. Its series of nightmare vignettes include vaudeville routines danced by giant puppets which might have crawled out of a Francis Bacon painting. In the world of Scarey buffoonish skeletons rule, and humans are the puppets.
"On the evidence of Scarey, physical theatre may prove to be the most metaphysical and religious of 20th century artforms."
- The Age