The Twits. By Michael Barlow and Humphrey Bower adapted by a book by Roald Dahl. Directed by Michael Barlow. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Street One, The Street Theatre. July 10-13.thestreet.org.au or 6247 1223.
Over the years puppetry has been used to satirize society's worst tendencies, in a way that makes it possible to make those kinds of critiques.
When the theatre form is combined with Roald Dahl's 1980 story The Twits, the result is a surprisingly relevant message for the world today.
"There are always - and probably have always been - twits, but it does feel like we're in a particularly Twittish patch," director Michael Barlow says.
"When Humphrey Bower - who co-created the show with me - and I first started talking about it a couple of years ago there were things that were shifting in the world at that time.
"The kind of leaders that were assuming power in the world - without naming names - tend to have a certain amount of twitishness to them.
"There was something about this show that on one hand it has this kind of gleeful, kind of madcap story but inside that, there was sort of powerful idea of what happens when people give in to their twittish side when we stand for it and allow someone to push us around."
For Geordie Crawley, who plays both Mr Twit and Roly-Poly Bird in the show, it's because of this that The Twits has lasted the test of time. It's also why he finds it "a little bit appropriate" for it to be performed in Canberra this week.
"I feel like sometimes we look on the news and we see Canberra and we're just able to see a moment of The Twits in that newsreel. Just a moment of it," he says.
"[But] I know I can look around in my life as to whether it is in my friend groups or family gatherings or on the news, anywhere.
"I can see twits everywhere and sometimes I even see a moment of Mr Twit within myself and I think that being able to recognise the twits is an important thing for young people to be able to do and it also speaks to something that Roald Dahl noticed in our world and reflected in this really pure crystalline way."
The Twits is a wicked tale about an old, grizzly couple who like nothing more than to play nasty tricks on each other and those around them. But Muggle-Wump the monkey and Roly-Poly Bird devise a plan to turn Mr and Mrs Twits' world upside down - literally.
It's a great example of how Dahl's villains are something which audiences love to hate. Along with characters such as the Trunchbull in Matilda and The Grand High Witch from The Witches, The Twits are remembered for their dastardly deeds which eventually are overcome.
At it's core is a message to the audience that sometimes rebellion and going against what is considered the 'right' thing to do is a good thing. This is something the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre production really played off of.
"It's the expression of an idea that sometimes - like with a schoolyard bully - sometimes the only thing that stands between us and being bullied is the decision to stand up," Barlow says.
"We sort of draw a little connection in our minds of this act of standing up and saying 'no more of this' to how we might put some of those twittish leaders that we are currently not enjoying so much."