New York | 1h 20m | Already closed

Randy Writes a Novel

From 22 critic and 140 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Hilarious

About the show

Randy, Australia’s most celebrated puppet comedian, teams up with a typewriter for an hour of spoken word and gratuitous arm movements. More…

Randy has played everywhere from Edinburgh to Hong Kong, Galway to Singapore to Sydney, and anywhere in between. Next stop — New York City, Here he will read excerpts from his unpublished novel whilst getting distracted by his own hate filled ramblings.


"This is cheek sore, solar plexus spasm funny...Manages to deliver remarkable insight disguised in clever one-liners and self deprecating musings. He deconstructs topics...with expert dexterity and craftsmanship. Even though I bellowed like a foghorn and howled like a hyena throughout, these deeper philosophical contemplations stayed with me long after the aftershocks of shrieking had subsided...It can induce the ugly laugh or unhinged snorting. I loved every single second of it." Full Review

Lavender After Dark

"No ordinary off-Broadway show...Wild night of entertainment...Randy knows how to whip the theater attendees into a laugh-inducing frenzy...A talented raconteur, Randy waxes poetic on everything...Randy is so irresistible...Guarantees more fun than a troop of monkeys and more guffaws than a flock of woodpeckers. You'll laugh, you'll gasp, you'll cheer, you'll learn what a 'rock melon' is, and you'll leave the theater much smarter than when you came!" Full Review


"A puppet on a hysterically funny journey to discover the meaning of life and all its peculiarities...Wildly improvised and intelligently scripted. You'll find yourself literally howling with laughter...A riotous amalgamation of master puppet and willing audience...Randy himself will tell you that what he’s presenting on stage is an anthropological social experiment and a one helluva good time. As always Randy, a philosopher in fabric and flock, is more than right." Full Review

Diandra Reviews it All

"Raunchy, rowdy, rambunctious, and revealing...Feltface is one of the top comedians in Austrailia, and he is also a puppet. His bug eyes, purple, svelte skin, and chick-pea head lead to a gully of laughs, but also quiet prods of thought...This show's charm relies on its audience participation...A hilarious, subtle confrontation on the image you have yourself...Funny and poignant in showing how a broken 'man'/ puppet discovers that fame is public but happiness is private." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Inordinately funny & thought provoking...Once the puppet has the crowd in hand the show transforms into a more erudite prologue of iconic literary writers...Randy shifts from his comedic schtick to more enlightening topics of Buddhism, existentialism, and mortality. The musings of a pink sock puppet pull some about face twists...This ingenious Laughing Stock production pushes the boundaries of communication and disconnection." Full Review

On Stage Blog

"The second I got home from the performance, I found myself wishing it was still on Netflix for me to watch, as I couldn’t get enough from the show itself! It’s an absolutely hilarious comedy show, and is worthy of all the praise it’s received in the years leading up to this Off-Broadway production. It’s one of the funniest events I’ve attended over the past year or so, and strongly encourage you to attend, interact, and be prepared to laugh!" Full Review

Stage Buddy

"While ostensibly a comedy show, it turns out 'Randy Writes A Novel' is actually about the existential dilemma of figuring out what your legacy will be after you die...The creator of Randy does a great job of blurring the line between man and puppet. The audience never sees the puppeteer, presumably also called Randy, even while the puppet Randy's movements are so specific and human-like...A wonderful blend of performance art, comedy, and weird." Full Review

New York Critic Blog

"We feel superior to a bug-eyed puppet, but through great puppetry we accept Randy as a character...Through a varied vocal life, McIvor creates a complex personality, frustrated, angry, sly. He insults his audience without being offensive, and he’s common without being cheap...This is really smart stand-up...The script needs to stay closer to its premise, and some of the vulgarity goes too far. But 'Randy Writes a Novel' is really funny, an Aussie import much appreciated." Full Review

The Thespians Blog

'A different and unusual sort of show...The curiosity of the crowd is kept at bay by Randy's engaging storytelling...Randy masters the nuance of time and tension building...It's easy to forget that there are complicated skills at work whenever Randy makes a gesture. It is truly a testament to the crew and cast of this comedy show that Randy feels to me as fun, charismatic and charming as the next purple man." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A very entertaining way to spend time with a bald purple puppet who has seen the world, muses on all manner of subjects, and has a good grasp of profanity...The set, along with the pleasantly edgy rock music, confronts us when we enter. Randy does tell us that this is not a show that you have to detach from reality to enjoy. He's right. When I saw it, it was mainly visitors to America who ended up engaging with Randy. Don't be afraid. Go see the show and talk to the guy." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“Randy…remarks self-deprecatingly about our having come to see a comedy show but getting a TED talk instead. Which might not be so bad if that TED talk were more enlightening than this play is funny. There are laughs…some of them loud, but not as many as the show's context would seem to demand…While Randy captures and holds your attention…, you always feel he's on the brink of saying something hilarious only for the feeling to dissipate into a smile…as his narrative shifts…direction.” Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Presentations apparently differ depending on the monologist’s mood and the tenor of an audience. (This is an often uncomfortable crap shoot and frankly unnecessary.) You’re addressed/carefully harangued, encouraged to call out, even to shoot photos...While some of the show is corny vaudevillian, some is insightful, clever, and well acted storytelling...You just have to get through the hackneyed parts and unwilling audience members to enjoy it." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Randy is facilitated by puppeteer Heath McIvor (though the latter is never visible onstage). That bolsters the illusion of Randy's autonomy as he banters with the audience and rants...It's easy to see why the show has been a hit on the Fringe circuit, but this sit-down comedy routine doesn't quite satisfy as theater...The show's dark-humor material is as well-worn as parts of Randy's felt. It inspires consistent smiles, but for bigger laughs the writing would have to seem more novel." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "Randy is a bald, bright purple Australian stand-up puppet with a really quick wit and a sharp tongue...McIvor does a fantastic job of making this very simple puppet come to life, to the point where one occasionally forgets that he’s not just a peculiar-looking little guy. His delivery is ridiculously funny...Full of amusing anecdotes and intelligent points, delivered in an explosive and hilarious manner...A fantastic way to liven up your evening in an unusual and very, very funny way." Full Review

Theatre Bubble

for a previous production "What might, on its surface, just appear to be another quirky fringe act actually turns out to be a layered, loaded, utterly hilarious set of musings on the nature of art, audience, and value of both of these things...Through a combination of the brilliance of the delivery and Randy’s ability to hold the audience in the palm of his purple felt hand, he takes the audience in a ride through suspension of belief and has us laughing the whole way." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "An hour of blissful ignorance and entertainment...In short it’s a stand-up set performed by a puppet, with two very likeable factors. One, the depth this show reaches is far greater than it has any right to be. Two, the puppeteering skill involved is some of the best you’re likely to see any time soon...Writer/puppeteer Heath McIvor, very much the piece’s MVP...To give so much personality to a character that can’t even move his face is truly a feat of craft...Escapism right when you need it ... Full Review

The List

for a previous production "Surely an hour watching a potty-mouthed purple puppet trying to read from his book would be interminable? You'd certainly think so, yet Randy manages to pull it out of the bag time after time...Most impressive of all are the adlibbing skills which McIvor brings to the table as Randy banters with audience members...There are some odd moments when Randy/McIvor goes off on a laugh-empty musing about healthy eating, but in the main, this is a curse-heavy delight." Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "For a purple puppet he’s incredibly astute, philosophising about culture and human nature, while dropping in some rather interesting literary facts along the way. A show starring a puppet might sound gimmicky, but actually – as those who have seen him in previous shows will know – Randy is a totally believable character that enhances what, on its own, would still be remarkably good stand-up. Will Randy ever get around to reading his novel? You’ll have to go to find out for yourself." Full Review

The Scotsman

for a previous production "The furry felt philosopher takes every opportunity to divert attention from his manuscript, exploring tangents and generally going off on one...So seamless is the relationship between the puppeteer and his conduit...Less gag fest and more extended entertaining procrastination but if 'Walking to Skye' were half as riveting as his brilliant, barmy shaggy dog story about the purchase of a bookshelf on Gumtree, then Randy/McIvor really knows how to spin a yarn." Full Review

The Upcoming (UK)

for a previous production "A turbulent yet heartwarming comedy...McIvor does a skillful job of making the audience see through the felt facade of Randy...It is mesmerising to see a talented puppeteer bring Randy to life...The human and puppet element merge so convincingly, it is hard at times to see the point in using puppetry at all...Ultimately, masterful puppeteering and a queue of humorous anecdotes and lectures make for a chuckle-filled evening, laced with comfortable surrealism." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "By the end, I yearned for the expressivity of a human being – because this is essentially a standup show spoken from a human perspective that doesn’t play to puppetry’s strengths at all. None of which is to deny McIvor’s skills in the niche of standup puppetry..Randy’s identity is unclear here...There’s ample compensation in Randy’s explosive delivery and some good jokes about hoarding and Harper Lee. But, conceptually, the show doesn’t quite add up." Full Review


for a previous production "A show that’s got a strong, artistic core, but stumbles badly whenever Randy veers off that path...You’d hope a show about telling a story has a good one at its core, and Randy has a cracker. This almost human lump of foam is, as always, expertly manipulated by McIvor...But in terms of content, this hour still seems patchy, with Randy sometimes getting too pretentious or climbing aboard hobbyhorse alongside the more compelling and sometimes hilarious segments." Full Review

Funny, Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You want to have a really fun hilarious 90 minutes interspersed with poignant and thought provoking discussion - You forget it’s a puppet

Don't see it if You are offended by “adult” language / swearing

Also A unique experience - more stand up comedy than theatre show

Clever, Edgy, Must see, Great writing, Funny

See it if Are looking to just laugh for an hour and a half

Don't see it if You are looking to feel something

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Audience is engaged in the theatre artistic process

Don't see it if You don’t like puppets

Also One of the more unexpected enjoyable plays I have seen

Delightful, Great acting, Hilarious, Quirky

See it if you're able to catch Randy at a venue near you. (I'm writing this after having seen the penultimate NY performance.)

Don't see it if you're freaked out by puppets. Randy is irrepressible.

Also I was just as amazed by the brilliant animation of Randy as I was engr... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Edgy, Hilarious, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if This was a solo puppet show. It got the audience involved and some of the show was based on the audience that day. It was hilarious.

Don't see it if This was not a show for kids. It was strictly for adults.

Also Go see it. I did notice that the Australian accent seemed to slip in a... Read more Read less

Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if Randy delights the audience with his stories and insights. Felt more like a conversation with a felt faced philosopher than a standup show

Don't see it if Definitely is a standup show though so if you don't like standup or puppets stay away.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing

See it if You want to be entertained

Don't see it if You need to see live actors to make your day

Clever, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you want a unique experience with a clever writer and performer. The improv with the audience was impressive. An enjoyable, fun evening!

Don't see it if you don't like puppets or solo shows.

Strings attached.

See it if you're in the mood for stand-up comedy with a twist.

Don't see it if you would rather not be "talked" to for an hour-and-a-half by a big, purple, bug-eyed puppet.

Also This is, indeed, a stand-up act with a twist: the comic himself spends... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Hilarious

See it if You like very funny, edgy entertainment. Each show likely different to some degree with Randy’s interactions with the audence. Very witty.

Don't see it if You aren’t into puppets or offended by some off color humor.

Funny, Poignant, Hilarious, Fluffy, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a laugh a minute one puppet show with some audience participation and storytelling with a bit of a message.

Don't see it if you don't like puppets. Which of course would make you a racist...Puppets are people too!

Also My seat assignment was in the last row (G). There were some empty seat... Read more Read less

Novel !, Almost existential, Fascinating storytelling, Informational, Vastly entertaining

See it if active participation in give & take with storytelling performance artist in puppet form would involve U & more U bring 2 it more U take away

Don't see it if expect show 2 please U without your own input, not expecting hybrid standup/puppet/theatre/discourse thing, offended by constant obscentiy

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you like a keen sense of humor in a unique format

Don't see it if you don't want to laugh.

Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if You’re not bothered by audience participation.

Don't see it if You find adult humor offensive. You are sensitive to “touchy” or “taboo” subjects.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Hilarious

See it if Original humor appeals to you

Don't see it if You hate puppets

Delightful, Funny, Intelligent

See it if You are not afraid of hilarious humor which uses rough language and which can carry a deeper and darker message about life.

Don't see it if You are offended by rough language and have difficulty understanding how humor can connect to absolute truth.

Also Amazing, my wife and I loved this show. Yes the comedy and language we... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You need a good laugh!

Don't see it if You don’t like a raunchy puppet performance.

Funny, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Clever

See it if You love long-form stand-up comedy — and puppets!

Don't see it if You think this is a play or dislike stand-up comedy. If you won’t participate like you’re in a comedy club, it’s not worth going.

Clever, Funny, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy stand up with a clever puppet.

Don't see it if You don't like puppets or enjoy a good laugh.

Funny, Profound, Quirky, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy unique experiences told by a puppet like no other - one who seems real and is talking to and reacting to his audience.

Don't see it if you don't like a bit of silliness, are offended by some dark ideas or cursing.

Also I am not a big fan of puppet shows but this one was masterfully done -... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Resonant

See it if A purple puppet living through an existential crisis in search of its legacy.

Don't see it if A purple puppet living through an existential crisis in search of its legacy.

Entertaining, Clever, Ambitious, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You like stream of conscious one man shows cleverly incorporating audience input and social values

Don't see it if The above does not appeal. Minimal stage, minimal puppet, minimal movement. Cerebral Randy.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Creative

See it if You like an audience-directed show. the lead character, a puppet named "Randy" interacts with the audience along a solid narrative arc.

Don't see it if You don't like puppets who swear.

Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you liked Avenue Q. A tell-it-like-it-is character. Show has a standup show feel. Audience participation is encouraged :)

Don't see it if you're expecting a traditional theatre experience. Skip if you don't like the 4th wall being broken. It drags a bit in the middle.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if You like stand-up comedy.

Don't see it if You don't like one-person shows or are easily offended.

Cast & Creatives (3)