By Michael Spring
It has perhaps crossed every performer’s mind to fantasise about taking a chainsaw to his audience, but it’s not everyone that makes that fantasy part of their performance. This, and much more “dark” besides, is part of this mime show, that is elegantly played and produced, but does require a broadminded approach to subject matter.
It all starts with some jaunty fairground-style music. There’s a clown with a classic white face and black hat, and the opening moves in which flowers get picked could leave you thinking that dark, doesn’t mean too dark after all. Very quickly though, the act moves on and progresses through multiple layers of pornography and violence. This is mime meeting Zap Comix. Of course, the irony is that such subjects (with the “help” of audience members from time to time) is presented through the measured and mannered means of mime, which does produce a certain amount of involvement, and humour, albeit on the black side.
Forgetting the subject matter for a little, this is a very complete production in which soundscape matches performance and one scene slips into another seamlessly. There can’t be too much doubt either about the commitment of the clown, who really does put everything into this show in which he is centre of attention for an hour.
“Audacious” is the word used in the promotional leaflet and the subjects covered here are just that. Perhaps this would be the ideal show to start a raucous stag night or birthday party. It would certainly provide some topics for conversation.
Dark Side of the Mime
Etcetera Theatre, Thursday 3 August and Friday 4 August at 6.30pm.
More info and tickets