La Vie Dans Une Marionette
- Kelly Apter
- 18 August 2017
Gentle physical comedy with a heart
The White Face Crew hails from New Zealand, but it's a French woman who greets us upon arrival (in accent at least), and has everyone giggling within seconds.
She talks us through what makes a good audience member (laughing, clapping) and what makes a bad one (looking bored, talking on our phones, eating noisily), building up a lovely rapport with everyone in the room.
And then the story begins – a touching tale of a lonely clown who has shut himself away from everything and everyone. Tama Jarman is both funny and poignant in the role, with his pillow-stuffed shirt and painted face, throwing sharp looks at the audience if he thinks we're looking at his bum.
The arrival of a huge package turns his world upside down, when a marionette climbs out of the box and into his life – annoying him at first, but ultimately helping our sad clown learn to live again.
This is gentle, understated theatre, with all three cast members turning in strong performances. A few more humorous touches wouldn't go amiss – which there's certainly scope for in the slapstick interplay – and the reason behind Jarman's seclusion could be spelled out a little clearer. But by the time 'Frenchwoman' Nikki Bennett is showing us back out, we've been sufficiently tickled to leave with a smile.
Gilded Balloon at the Museum, until 28 Aug (not 21), 10.30am, £8.50–£9 (£7.50–£8).