Centred: A One Clown Comedy About Stuff
Astounding physicality in this dark clowning tale
This article is from 2015.
Silently, and with immense physical prowess, Liam O’Kane transforms into a young boy trapped overnight in a shopping centre, with nothing but a sandwich and a handful of belongings to pass the time. Resigned to his fate, the boy realises that here his wildest fantasies can come to life, and they do – the reality-fantasy flip signalled by smart use of lighting. O’Kane’s physicality astounds: he transcends gender, race and species. With the flick of a wrist we know he’s in an ambulance, or, bent at the waist, he’s an old man feeding birds at the beach.
The insight into this young boy’s mind is fascinating, and man playing young boy playing at being a man is charmingly goofy, but an uncomfortable thread of darkness runs throughout, as the framed picture of a motherly type propped in the background is ever conspicuous. As time runs on, his daydreams become increasingly violent: the old man is pecked to death by seagulls, and his winning horse commits suicide. More than flat-out clowning, this quickly becomes the tale of a boy mourning and wracked with guilt. O’Kane is capable of conveying more emotion in one facial expression than most can with all the words in the world.
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