- Sam Healy
- 21 August 2008
This article is from 2008.
Wet feral fun from Dutch pratfaller
The ambit of what has not yet been done shrinks ever smaller. Pity the poor alternative comedians, clutching at auxiliary originalities as the pool of unprecedented material ebbs to nothing: slicker, quicker jokes, more postmodernism, cynicism, attitude. But don’t pity Eric Koller, whose virtuoso physical comedy is an ingenuous, stonking, very continental antidote to all that is reflexive and incestuous in Anglophone comedy. For some, the Dutchman’s largely wordless slapstick will come off as too primitive and yes, there are several segments that lean too heavily on unsophisticated if accomplished gurning and pratfall. But Koller can defend himself on two fronts. Physical comedy predated verbal comedy, and is the basis of it. And Koller is an outright whiz.
He is rubber-limbed, rubber-faced and turbo-charged. A good deal of the sweat he works up ends up on the audience, who are very much participant in this interactive show. The unlettered ingenuity with which he spawns a human Punch and Judy show, a faulty bingo game and a squirting, spurting finale rivals that of many great wisecrackers. Not for every reveller, but wet feral fun is pretty much guaranteed.
Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, until 25 Aug, 10.45pm, £9–£10 (£7–£8).