Lighter Than Air (4 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Lighter Than Air

It’s amazing the fun that can be generated from a few simple props. When clown Danny Schlesinger plods on stage wearing a too-tight suit and a deadpan expression, his arms weighed down with three enormous yellow balloons, you wonder whether he will be able to hook his audience for a full 50 minutes.

Yet his daft physical comedy quickly proves a big hit with young folk and their parents. There are plenty of belly laughs to be obtained from the incongruity between Schlesinger’s rotund body and deadly serious expression, and the folly of his attempted antics – a prime example being the sequence in which he attempts hula hooping to a disco soundtrack.

And it gets sillier, with the performer taking a visual gag and stretching it almost to bursting point. So, a balloon dog acquires a balloon lead and deposits a very realistic-looking balloon poo onstage. There’s a High Noon-style showdown between Schlesinger and a balloon that stubbornly refuses to pop. And then there’s the inept juggling: ‘Oh look – the swirling balloons have knocked the funny man’s glasses off!’ And that was just the cry from this reviewer, through helpless chokes of laughter.

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

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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