Man of Valour
Mime and punishment
This article is from 2011.
Haven’t we been through this before? Wasn’t it some time in the 1970s we stopped being dazzled by mime artists? Didn’t we pretty quickly realise the means of telling a story are never as interesting as the story itself?
It seems not in the case of Dublin’s Corn Exchange which, in Paul Reid’s solo performance, goes through all the Marcel Marceau clichés you can see for free any day on the High Street. Playing Farrell, an urban Everyman, he shows us every door he walks through, every train he catches and every colleague he works alongside. That he does this with skill and precision is secondary to the familiarity of it all – and it doesn’t take long for his accompanying vocal clicks to get irritating.
All this establishes an atmosphere of such inconsequentiality that you can’t take seriously the developing story in which he takes delivery of his father’s ashes and flushes them down the toilet only to go on a video-game style hunt to retrieve them. There are latent themes about stunted father-son relationships and the indifference of big business, but nothing to convince you this is not a case of style over substance.
Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 14 Aug, times vary, £15–£17 (£11–£12).