Gwen & Peter Iliffe’s The Puppet People (formally Rees Puppets)

Queensland’s The Puppet People was produced by mother and son team, Gwen and Peter Iliffe.

PUPPET PEOPLE Gwen and Peter Iliffe 1974In 1972 Gwen and Peter bought the Rees Puppets and set out traveling extensively around Australia, performing their marionettes wherever and whenever they could find an audience. After meeting Beverley Nevin in 1974, The Puppet People were born.

They were a very self contained company and every member was able to turn their attention and talents to a wide variety of tasks. All the puppets, props, sets and, in fact, everything used in the production, presentation and promotion of their performances was built in their Brisbane workshops. Gwen and Peter Iliffe’s lives became totally absorbed in puppetry. On the rare occasions when they are not touring their constantly sought-after puppet shows throughout Australia and New Guinea, they were making new puppets, planning new shows, and researching new methods of presentation. Their love of their art was matched only by the love of children and adults for their shows. Their family of over 100 puppets, traveled in their especially equipped mobile home. “Happy children’s faces” Gwen says, “are our greatest reward“.

By 1980, they leased the gutted Twelfth Night Theatre from the Queensland Government as a home for their productions. As the operators of the Twelfth Night Theatre, they sub-leased the theatre to other theatrical and puppetry groups.

BEES HEY etc 1977 Twelfth Night PosterIn 1976, their first black theatre production BEES HEY! ETC. was a smash hit in Brisbane and on its national tour on 1977. This was a black theatre concept set to Bizet’s music for CARMEN. The story of the life cycle of bees was portrayed by rod and glove puppets. The bees were going about their business of making honey which was interrupted, firstly by comedy in the form of raindrops from a floating black cloud, and secondly by the dramatic intrusion of a giant grasshopper or dragonfly. Theatrical effects using different types of puppets, some rod, were highlighted by changing lights. The Puppet People opened a revival of BEES HEY! ETC. on May 21, 1983 at their Twelfth Night Theatre.

The Puppet People were totally financially self sufficient and do not receive funding from any government body not necessarily by choice.

Theatrical Brisbane Shows DB since 1847 Search Puppet People shows

BEES HEY etc 1977 Twelfth Night PosterPuppet People Gwen Peter Iliffe 1970s Brisbane Promotional Photo Bees Hey etc Puppet People Gwen Peter Iliffe 1970s Brisbane PRESS Hobart Bees Hey etc. Puppet People Gwen Peter Iliffe 1970s Brisbane PRESS Hobart Bees Hey etc. 2 SPRING 1980 Twelfth Night Poster SPRING 1980 Twelfth Night Prpgram Bios Puppet People Gwen Peter Iliffe 1970s Brisbane PRESS SPRING ADVENTURES IN PUPPETRY 1974 Gallery Theatre Program Cover ADVENTURES IN PUPPETRY 1974 Gallery Theatre Program 1 ADVENTURES IN PUPPETRY 1974 Gallery Theatre Program 2 Gweneth Iliffe Puppet People Bees Hey Twelfth Night Theatre 1977 Puppet People Gwen Peter Iliffe 1970s Brisbane Promotional Handout ducksPUPPET PEOPLE Gwen and Peter Iliffe 1974 PUPPET PEOPLE REES PUPPETS 1974 Plaque ADVENTURES IN PUPPETRY 1974 Gallery Theatre Description

BRISBANE THEATRE LINKS

Brisbane Theatre History 2022 Brisbane Theatre Shows DB Brisbane Shakespeare Society Queensland Theatre Company: QTC Golden Years 1970 1988 Queensland Theatre Company QTC Who's Who Hall of Fame Golden Years 1970's & 1980s Alan Edwards in Memorium SGIO Theatre Puppet People Brisbane Actors Company Frame and Kennett PromotionsBrisbane Theatre Restaurants & Dinner Theatre

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