Ongals: Babbling Comedy
- Claire Sawers
- 6 August 2017
Old-school circus skills from talented baby-like crew
Anyone who couldn't look during those 'bitty' sketches with David Walliams in Little Britain is advised to give this one a wide berth. For those who can handle watching grown men acting like babies, this is a circus show from Korea with magic, tricks and beatboxing. Initially the sight of three adult men in pastel pyjamas, crawling about the stage, bickering and gurgling like babies is, let's not lie, a bit weird. Turns out it's not a fetish night though. Nope, it's an hour-long comedy circus that works well for kids, fans of fart jokes, slapstick enthusiasts or people (especially handy for non-English speakers) that love old-school circus skills.
The show is non-verbal; like toddlers, the cast communicate with baby gibberish, and play out a range of Laurel and Hardy emotions with body language and bendy facial expressions, from joy, to mild huff, through to outright tantrum. Warming the crowd up with some gentle clowning for starters, the three Ongals play with props, making balloon animals for the crowd, then do the U-rated version of a sword-swallowing act, using a long balloon instead of a blade for minimal carnage.
In among the bum jokes (the crowd goes wild when the balloon pump gets used on the Ongals' back-door area), there's a lot of impressive skill on show, and some lo-tech, traditional tricks too. Beautiful Korean handbells ring out the tune of 'Oh! Susanna', a bullwhip gets cracked very close to an Ongal's quivering face, a Coca-Cola can gets magically uncrushed and refilled, and some real knives are juggled with a blindfold on.
The second half brings in beatboxing, with nice twists on the volume control before a finale of juggling, glowing neon lights spinning through the air. Good clean fun for the family, and luckily not an adult nappy in sight.
Assembly Roxy, until 28 Aug, 6.05pm, £15 (£12).