A Show From Nothing

The Old 505
Sydney Fringe
reviewed 11th September 2014

I have seen a bunch of Gaulier trained clown shows in the last two years.  They have exploded onto the Australasian scene scattering genial surreal idiocy and chuckling punters in their collective wake.

Edan Lacey trained at the famous clown school in Paris, and this is his first solo show.  He emerges from a pile of newspapers at the back of the stage as if in a drunken stupor, and begins an hour of discovery and exploration. The game is simple: around the room are scattered a multitude of objects; Lacey examines them, and makes of them what he can. 

The usual rules of clowning inform the game – the performer is an idiot, but an inventive, creative and occasionally incredibly insightful idiot.  Lacey explores the possibilities of feathers, balloons, a camping stool, salt, and most memorably and successfully, a watermelon.

It is not really a show from nothing.  There are a large number of pre-set ‘things’ which are used as prompts, and I wonder if the enterprise would be more successful if there were fewer props, and more time spent developing the mime.  The work is clearly in an early stage of development, and while parts of it are funny and hold promise, others need to be weeded out.  The ending, however, is spectacular, and worth the entry all by itself.

Interesting, and often funny, I would go to his next show.

When she's not making theatre, Hannah likes critiquing it, and is a contributing theatre reviewer for Theatreview, the New Zealand Listener, Broadway Baby and The Wireless.

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