The Artist (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

The Artist

credit: Sanna Breilin

A hapless painter isn't as clumsy as he seems in this charmingly irreverent comedy

Upstairs at Assembly Roxy, a painter is searching for inspiration. His studio's a mess, with shabby curtains, dying houseplants, and a drip from the roof that's driving him crazy. With Circo Aereo, and directed by Sanna Silvennoinen, Thom Monckton has created an imaginative hour of gasps and giggles.

A clumsy, loveable chap in spectacles, he struggles to put a frame together, then staples his sock to it. Monckton is an accomplished clown, joyous to watch as he flops around bored, making up silly dances, but the slips and stumbles belie his skill as an acrobat. He has you on the edge of your seat as he finds ten ways to climb a ladder (none of them safe, all of them jaw-dropping) to reach a jar of paintbrushes.

Easily distracted, he plays with the still-life fruit, drinks the wine, then takes a banana to a nightclub. Finally he invites an audience member onstage to paint his portrait, with hilarious consequences. The ending had a sense of innocent magic, as his entire studio became a playful work of art.

Acrobatics, silliness and great set pieces follow one after the other, and this endearing show will please audiences of all ages.

Assembly Roxy, until 27 Aug (not 14), 4.20pm, £12 (£10).

The Artist

  • 4 stars

Circo Aereo and Thom Monckton The artist tries to begin his creation process, but the inspiration is completely lost. The focus strays, the blank canvas terrifies, and the tools have been lost to the bowels of the atelier. The Artist is a solo physical theatre and contemporary circus show by award-winning Thom Monckton…