No, you’re not looking at identical twins. You are looking at Adam Dodge and his new ventriloquist puppet. The one on the left was constructed from LEGO bricks while the one on the right (I’m 95% sure) was devised by more natural means. One is a dummy, the other isn’t, but both insist that you don’t call them that. The one on the left can move his eyes, lips, eyebrow, hands, legs and feet while the one on the right…can do the same.
This photo illustrates the inner workings of the one on the left while the inner workings of the one on the right is comprised of organic goo not fit for daytime viewing. The one on the right said there was a ventriloquist in his family history so he figured…what the heck! I think the one on the left said the same thing, but the other one was barely moving his lips so now I’m not sure. The one on the left said my two-bit comedy routine was all washed up. On second though I’m pretty sure it was the one on the right that said that. Wow, this post started with such confidence and now I don’t know what’s what! Just watch this video of the dummy in action!
Although an imaginative builder has surely created one, I don’t recall having seen a well-built LEGO marionette before. This puppet of King Gustav I by Nicolas Picot is brilliant, with great articulation and a solid reproduction of the king’s dapper uniform, in particular the upside-down curve-topped fences which serve excellent duty as epaulet embroidery. The king’s steely gaze is also particularly well done, and the mustache seems surprisingly accurate for made of only two pieces.
It’s funny how your perspective changes with age. As a kid I was tortured annually with the BBC’s Christmas airing of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. But as an adult I find it absolutely captivating – all three hours of it. I mean, it’s got everything… Nuns. Yodeling. Christopher Plummer. Some Nazis.
In the film adaptation, the The Lonely Goatherd number was performed as a marionette show (by Bil Baird and Cora Eisenberg-Baird). And now half a century later, VirtualLUG die-hard Millie McKenzie has perfectly recreated the entire theater and its distinctive puppets for our enjoyment:
If all this looks vaguely familiar, but you need your memory jogging, here’s the original scene:
Clearly the goats were too lifelike, as sadly Millie’s cat later went on to destroy the entire setup…
…naughty kittie, over the Alps into Switzerland with you!