Delightful family-friendly clowning
This article is from 2010.
The booming voiceover that introduces this charming piece of physical theatre is that of a hypnotist inducing the calm of sleep on its audience. What then transpires is the appearance of a dream world, though the night visions we experience are far from tranquil. We are confronted with four clowns dressed in what looks like a cross between industrial smocks and flannel pyjamas, and five wooden boxes of the dimensions of a tall bookcase. The ensuing series of sketches provokes wails of mirth from both the under 10s in the audience, and those of lamentably greater age.
The clowning skills of the performers are inspiring, moving from chasing games around the wooden blocks, to their restructuring into perilous monuments atop which our protagonists play dangerous games. Along the way there’s some delightful juggling, and a finale where each makes a delightfully cacophonous din with trumpets, saxophones and drums. What’s so admirable about this demonstration of circus skills is its evocation of an astutely observed tradition of buffo, with Chaplin in particular suggested by the physical action. Even the minor gaffes that happen along the way are slickly covered amidst all the well-paced family comedy.
Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 30 Aug, 2.20pm, £12 (£9).