Teater Patrasket, Wireless

Review in Issue 21-3 | Autumn 2009

Wireless, the latest show from Danish children’s theatre company Patrasket, is an ensemble clown show with dark edges – and like all good clown/ mime work it has universal appeal. It is immensely funny and at times slightly nightmarish, with quite an adult take on the world (so not for the very young).

The show’s byline is ‘Five clowns on a shiny floor’, and the premise is: how do clowns cope with the trappings of the 21st century? Impossible packaging that won’t unwrap, the endless ringing of mobile phones, the constant flickering of the screen…

It’s a modern take, yet all the tricks of the theatre clown trade are here. There’s lots of setting out of chairs, with characters lining up to stare out the audience – this, post Forced Entertainment’s Bloody Mess, seems almost to be a counter-ironic reclaiming of the ironic steal! Each clown character has their own repertoire of physical tics, and they are all marvellous, but I’m particularly taken with the petulant girl clown in white net skirt who has an obsession with watering cans (Guilia Pataro).

The visual design is excellent. As said, quite dark – literally at many points in the show as the action is illuminated by hand-held torchlights or eerie green beams that cut across the stage. There’s beautiful shadowplay and clever object animation. The one element not yet mentioned is the soundscape – an inventive mix of composed and found sounds (tinkling music boxes that give way to menacing electronic hums) that is a vital element of the show.

Great to see mime / physical theatre programmed into the Brighton Festival. More please!

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2009

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-3
p. 30