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Ventriloquism is possibly one of the oldest art forms in the world. At the height of its popularity nearly every music hall bill would feature a ventriloquial act. Famous double acts over the years have included Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Peter Brough and Archie Andrews, Ray Alan and Lord Charles and Keith Harris and Orville.
The traditional dummies can be separated into two categories, those with the more old fashioned drop jaw movement (favoured by the older acts for visibility from 'The Gods' of the theatre), and the more modern, naturalistic leather mouth movement as perfected by Leonard Insull. Many are also fitted with moving and closing eyes, raising eyebrows, wiggling ears and even the ability to smoke a cigarette.
The star of the puppethire.com ventriloquism collection is undoubtedly Archie Andrews, from the collection of the late Peter Brough. Brough and Archie were radio's biggest stars of the 1940s and 50s with a 250,000 member strong fan club and over 15million listeners tuning in each week to listen to Educating Archie, co-starring the likes of Tony Hancock, Bruce Forsyth, Hattie Jacques, Benny Hill, and a young Julie Andrews.
Three Archies are still in existence, two being available from the puppethire.com collection, having also performed on television, the West End stage and even by Royal Command at Windsor Palace.
Below is a selection of the figures we have available from stock, in a variety of conditions both old and new. All of which come fully costumed, though these can be redressed, rewigged and restyled to suit your production. Should it be required we can supply an expert ventriloquist to perform with the figure or tutor your actors.