Only Bones (4 stars)

Thomas Monckton in 45 minutes of often acutely inventive physical tomfoolery

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Only Bones

credit: Aurélia Tassafi

Thomas Monckton demonstrated what an outstanding physical clown he is via his previous solo show, The Pianist (back at Assembly Roxy until 29 Aug). This, his newest work, is more distilled and maybe even funnier.

Created with fellow New Zealander Gemma Tweedie under the auspices of Finland's Kallo Collective, it adds up to about 45 minutes of body-generated invention that will likely send you back out into the night with a spring in your step.

The ginger-haired, rubber-faced Monckton makes full use of his muscular, wiry, frame to induce laughs. The opening visual gag – which we won't spoil – sets a tone that he pretty much sustains with no trouble at all. Spatially his trajectory could hardly be simpler: he starts out sitting and ends up standing. His hands take on lives of their own, sharing a co-dependant relationship of dominance and submission.

But this man can get comic mileage out of his eyelid or pinkie or, because he's so alive to the moment, a spectator's unexpected sneeze or an insect whizzing around in the bright light of the overhead lamp beneath which the performance occurs. There's also an aquatic ballet, barnyard sound mash-ups, head juggling, tongue-swallowing and much gargoyle facial play and more. Monckton leaves us wanting more but in the best sense.

Summerhall, until 28 Aug (not 22), 8.30pm, £11 (£10).

Only Bones

  • 4 stars

Kallo Collective in association with Aurora Nova ‘…extraordinary inventiveness created by a limitless imagination…’ (TheatReview.org.NZ). Only Bones is an award-winning new production by New Zealanders Thomas Monckton and Gemma Tweedie and Finland-based physical theatre company Kallo Collective. Only Bones uses body…

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