BP Zoom, A Wonderful World

Review in Issue 20-1 | Spring 2008

BP Zoom are Bernie Collins (Mr B) and Philippe Martz (Mr P), a delightful clown duo, whose extended entrees around the theme of flight are joyous, comic, occasionally touching, and frequently hilarious. The duo subvert and develop the classic whiteface/auguste clown relationship, in that although Mr P is clearly the put upon fool, his naivety is tempered with a realistic understanding of the duo’s clownish predicaments, whereas the short-sighted, fussy Mr B in his frock coat, smart trousers and carefully combed hair fails to see the obvious.

Using gesture, eccentric dance, slapstick and sound the show opens with a delightful entrée in which both clowns are in large cardboard boxes, pretending that they are ballooning. Deftly they take us into their imaginative world and then in a clever coup de theatre, when opening the celebratory champagne, Mr B’s balloon and his reality is punctured, setting up a fierce rivalry between them. This is played out clownishly using the simple device of throwing a paper plane which progressively becomes more competitive until Mr B creates a plane that can apparently fly in a perfect circle round him, itself a wonderful illusion. This finishes with a visually poetic image of a giant paper plane circling majestically around the stage.

The precise use of music – parodying 2001: A Space Odyssey for example – was inspired, and under the direction of Jos Houben, this was a wonderful piece of contemporary clowning, which was innovative and inventive whilst having a timeless appeal, pleasing adults and children alike.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-1
p. 30