Lighter Than Air

This article is from 2009.

Lighter Than Air

As any parent of a six-year-old will confirm, kids love watching adults making total balloons of themselves. So, if you take one adult, arm him with a cupboard full of actual balloons, you’re probably on to a winner. ‘The bit where I walk my inflatable dog, Poppy, always goes down well,’ confides ‘balloon-tamer’ Danny Schlesinger. ‘Particularly when she does a balloon poo – that’s always a big hit.’

Schlesinger not only knows all about balloons (he read up on the history of balloon entertainment in London’s British Library), he even looks a bit balloon-shaped too (cruel maybe, but then he does do a self-deflating gag in his act). His rotundity also made him perfect for playing Homer in Sky One’s remake of The Simpsons’ opening credits with real, live, five-fingered humans.

Schlesinger’s show includes ‘sophisticated silliness’, magic, circus skills and balloons as big as the ones on the beach in The Prisoner. The show involves him bouncing, burning, dancing around, climbing into and making shapes out of balloons of all shapes and sizes. And did we mention the loud popping? There’s plenty of that too. ‘Most of it’s on purpose, but there are a few unexpected ones too. That’s just what balloons do.’

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–30 Aug (not 17, 24), 11.30am, £8–£9 (£6.50–£7.50). Previews until 7 Aug, 11.30am, £5

Lighter Than Air

  • 4 stars

Enter the strange bizarre universe of a wild balloon tamer where surreal stupid things happen. Combining circus and comedy, clown Danny Schlesinger creates an utterly joyous experience loaded with surprises and laughs. Warning! Loud balloon pops!


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