Rainpan 43, All Wear Bowlers

Review in Issue 17-4 | Winter 2005

At the beginning of the show the two bowlers on the stage do a little dance before disappearing. This sets the tone for 80 minutes of strongly performed clowning, reminiscent of both the American tradition of vaudeville and silent movies, and the absurdist world of Beckett in Waiting for Godot. Along the way the two performers, Geoff Sobelle and Matt Lyford, play with eggs, steal two of the audience’s chairs, move in and out of the opening film, and, as clown duos will, bicker amongst themselves before eventually making up.

The show is highly comic and the two performers display physical and verbal virtuosity. There is also the added delight of seeing well-worn clown routines brought up to date and given a new spin. In this case, the dummy in the standard clown ventriloquist act becomes a threatening psychopath. Whilst this reveals the subversive violence at the centre of clowning, the act goes on for too long, and there is a sense that the performers are trying too hard for significance. It feels as though they don’t believe in it themselves.

Nevertheless the first hour of this show is an unalloyed pleasure, which entertains and awes.

Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-4
p. 24