Performer: Luke Nowell
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
All human life is here, and while Luke Nowell’s life is certainly bizarre, it’s no less engaging.
Mixing mime, clowning, physical theatre and outright surrealism, it’s hard to define exactly what Nowell is portraying but it’s nevertheless gripping.
Glad in a gold morphsuit and fishnet shorts, Nowell cuts a comic figure even before the show starts, his expressive face a picture of wide-eyed innocence mixed with a devilish twinkle. The audience is not idle participants in Nowell’s world, more props to be used, climbed over or chased across the stage. Magician’s assistants, bees or guides, the safety of third or fourth row is no hiding place, the entire performance becomes a playground for Nowell.
There’s as much left unsaid as there is said in Nowell’s performance. A wry look, a wink, a gesture all saying more than words. It’s equally hard to capture in words, this is very much about the experience.
There are though sections that stick in the mind. A conductor guiding through life and a sex-crazed bee pollinating the audience particularly effective.
Other sections fair less well, and a couple of sections overrun their comic potential and if, say, 20 minutes can be shaved off the running time then it wouldn’t be a much tighter offering.
That said, there’s a sense of unashamed joy and playfulness on display here that’s hard not to enjoy. As Norris himself says, the opposite of play is depression and this playful show will cheer the hardest of souls.
Runs 5-7 May at The Warren TheatreBox
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