Belfast Telegraph

Stuffed animals star in stage show

A new musical, described as "Pet Rescue meets X Factor", sees animals put on a show to get the attention of humans.

The attention-grabbing animals are in fact real - and dead.

The puppets singing along are taxidermy, road kill manipulated by human puppeteers. The cat that stars in the show is the artist's dead pet.

Charlie Tuesday Gates, a performance artist and creator of Sing For Your Life, said that it had a message about the importance of animals.

She said: "People don't care about animals, but if they put on a show people will listen to them, as everybody likes a talent show.

"It's about animal rights and how we use animals to our own advantage."

The musical plays on the idea of talent shows such as The X Factor needing a sob story, a winner's journey and a star, and is described as an "ironic twist on the pantomime of life" .

The performance includes a cat, a mink, squirrels, a dog, a badger and a fox. The dead dog was acquired through the marketplace website Gumtree, and the cat, previously called Douglas, is now known as Splat in puppet form.

Other animals in the show were either donated, picked up as road kill, or else died of natural causes. The squirrels died in a cull, and Charlie said that many of the creatures starring in the show died as "by-products of wasteful industry".

Gates, who studied sculpture at Camberwell College of Arts, has used taxidermy often in her performance art to get across her message about animals.

The 29-year-old artist, who is vegan, said: "If you entertain people, they are more likely to listen to what you have to say.

"It's better than standing on the street talking at people. All my artworks are about this."

Sing For Your Life is showing at The Vaults, London, until March 8.


From Belfast Telegraph