Hoax Productions, Raw Beef

Review in Issue 15-2 | Summer 2003

I first saw this company in Edinburgh in 2001 (then named Ad Hoax) performing Sketches of the Underworld – an ambitious piece mixing Bouffon, satire, comedy, circus skills and mask work. I admired their skills and ideas, but at the time felt that their talent was subsumed by their ambition. But that was then...

Now, here, transmuted into Hoax Productions with the really exciting and funny piece of clowning that is their new show Raw Beef, that talent gleams effortlessly behind a very simple show.

The Bristol-based pair of performers (Ivan Marcos from Spain and Alistair Seed from Scotland) indulge in a surreal and very funny competition to relieve boredom. Stuck in a sort of purgatory, with only a tolling bell every so often to suggest both gaoler and an outside authority, they must amuse themselves. With just a broom, box and rope, simple costumes and no real plot the pair have found the essence of clowning – playing and reacting to one another in the moment.

This is almost a physical theatre version of Beckett. Both performers have exquisite timing, an engaging manner and sense of the quirky. The pace was lost briefly two-thirds of the way through, but I am sure the performers will remedy that. And on the night I saw it, their evocation of a mother with a shawl pleading took on a profound effect, with Iraq in everyone's minds. Go see.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-2
p. 26