The Outsider (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

The Outsider

Technology and magic merge in repetitive comedy on the strangeness of our modern lives

It’s a promising if not especially original set-up. Finnish magician and actor Janne Raudaskoski’s wide-eyed, green-haired alien crash-lands on Earth and proceeds to explore the various strange activities that we humans get up to: eating and drinking; shopping and having babies; working and fighting.

Duplicating himself across two person-sized plasma screens, Raudaskoski delights in interacting with his video selves, even jumping into filmed scenarios with a gracefulness that makes his trickery entirely convincing. There’s a bit of sleight-of-hand, a bit of audience interaction, a twinkling model airplane, and even a couple of appearances from a bizarre Michael Jackson figure. And lots of bubbles.

Kids would no doubt love aspects of Raudaskoski’s gentle, reassuring show – that’s if they can get past the slow pace and the extensive repetition. His interactions with technology are undeniably impressive (as are the countless roles he plays in the filmed snippets), but they’re fairly limited in their scope, and his insights into human life – war is bad; love is a funny thing – are hardly revelatory. It all makes for an entertaining, enjoyable 70 minutes, full of touching moments, but it’s unlikely to be a show that lives long in the memory.

New Town Theatre, 220 0143, until 30 Aug (not 18), 5.30pm, £12.

The Outsider

  • 3 stars

Janne Raudaskoski, TT13 A man not of this world suddenly wanders onto Earth. The Outsider, a naive Buster Keaton-like character, bumps into modern humanity. The Outsider is a delightful fantasy for grown-ups which has gathered standing ovations around Europe. The performance evokes the visual style of silent films…