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Internationally acclaimed, award winning
puppet, mask, and musical performances since 1979

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Cannibal Island, A Taste of Paradise


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

photos Gregory Hayes Photography

On an isle of gourd people, where head size determines status, the quest for power, huge heads, and rampant public consumption leaves a bitter taste . A puppet play inspired by archeological evidence from Easter Island.


"User" Reviews:

"'Cannibal Island - A Taste of Paradise'. With real "cannibal" food to boot. Amazing show, hit all the right buttons - side splitting moments, tense moments, uplifting moments.... and sometimes unspeakable moments. Bodies of the gourd-headed people littered the stage at the end, but somehow I still think it's older-kid friendly. I'm sneakily hoping that they can bring it to the National Festival one day. It's definitely good enough." Lex Rudd, Primal Visions

"This show does not shy away from big themes. On the surface, it delves into the mysteries of Easter Island, often portrayed as the remotest location on the planet. We all know about the great stone monuments, colloquially referred to as big heads. In "Cannibals", ‘big head’ is virtually the only line of dialogue I can recall, but the information it comes to convey is stupefying.
Rank, privilege, arrogance, and the entitlement of the rich and powerful are all easily recognized. There is the destruction of a closed environment through the reckless misuse of its natural resources. There is the inevitable collapse as those resources disappear. That it is all
done to such an economy of words is much to the credit of its creators.
And, just in case I’ve been making it sound too high-brow, the puppets are fun and original, and the show is as entertaining and funny as any I’ve ever attended. If you get a chance to see it, don’t miss it."
Reviewed by Rhys Wade

"I had the delight of attending a rehearsal and a performance of Magical Moonshine Theatre's puppet show, Cannibal Island. The family of performers -- Michael and Valerie Nelson, and Benjie Holson -- have performed together for a lifetime, and still had such obvious FUN blending their scripted interaction and improvisational moments. With funding support from The Jim Henson Foundation, this original show draws from Balinese puppetry traditions to tell a fanciful story about a society where head size determines status, inspired in part by Jared Diamond's account of the Easter Island cultural collapse. It's often easy to forget the gourd-headed islanders are being manipulated by the puppeteers, who control their characters without hiding -- lending puppets their hands and facial expressions while speaking and singing their parts. Don't take my word for it. Go see the show!" Greg Hayes, Gregory Hayes Photography

“Cannibal Island is both fun and thought provoking theater. The performance is compelling, clever and resourcefully inventive. Bravo!” Lee Armstrong, Video Consultant for P of A & Co-owner Images In Motion Inc.

Want to learn more about Easter Island?

Click on the image for a good overview of the history of Easter Island, the depletion of its resources, the birdman cult that arose, and the eventual effects of outsiders on the inhabitants of this once verdant paradise.



Created with Funding Support from the Jim Henson Foundation

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