Les Cousins, Not So Easy

Review in Issue 5-1 | Spring 1993

Les Cousins are three likeable French chaps who juggle, clown and dance their way through Not So Easy. Their humour has a charming innocence, as they hype up each other's talents with knowing self deprecation. Despite this, their skills are undeniable: frightening acrobatic combinations (The Pyramid: Of Death), complex juggling feats (The Nine Balls: Of Death) and an unbelievable balancing act finale (with the potential to end in real death!). Their ability to take the audience along with them, to join in with their daft fantasies of mega-stardom (as in the glitzy US pastiche ‘The American Show’) provides a level of adult sophistication which makes this genuine family entertainment without its usual crass associations.

Besides Les Cousins giving a hugely enjoyable clown show, relevant and accessible for all, they also retain a sense of respect for the conventions of circus and music hall. The repeated shout of ‘hey!’ before, during and after each accomplishment becomes a standing joke, but one which never quite parodies its parent tradition. This is ‘alternative’ circus but without the chainsaw rock'n'roll flamboyance of other, more (Ar)chaotic types.

From the issue 5-1 collection of reviews, written by Jackie Adkins, Sarah Dawson, Desmond Jones, Jonathan Megaw, Shani Solomons, Brendan Stapleton and Paul Vates.

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