ComedyReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: The Performance – The Warren: Studio 3

Writer and Performer: Iain Gibbons
Reviewer: Paul Couch

As we enter The Warren’s Studio 3, we’re greeted by an usher, played by Iain Gibbons. We settle back into our seats to await The Performance through the medium of interpretive dance by the world-famous Jacques-Baptiste Weckbach (played by Iain Gibbons).

Fortunately, the show is delayed slightly, which allows a latecomer to join us in the audience – the bobble-hatted and very Welsh Geraint (um…played by Iain Gibbons) who fumbles and bumbles his way around the audience waiting for his less-than-keen girlfriend, Bridget (fortunately not portrayed by the bearded Gibbons) .

Gibbons is a hugely talented artist with clowning techniques akin to Harold Lloyd and Jacques Tati, with more than a pinch of Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean thrown in for flavour. His characters are more vocal than theirs and one can’t help but wonder whether a little restraint on the verbiage wouldn’t improve this already entertaining one-man-show even more.

Gibbons trained at École Philippe Gaulier, in France, which specialises in bringing out the artist’s – and audience’s – inner child. When we eventually meet the “world famous” Weckback, he is as much a grotesque as Gibbons’ other constructs, if not more – an haughty, humourless and self-important little man who takes himself far more seriously than anyone around him – including the technician – does.

The Performance is great fun but perhaps goes on for 20 minutes too long, stretching credibility when the three protagonists appear on stage and start brawling. There’s nothing too adult about Gibbons’ characters and young children will leave the performance unsullied if a little confused.

Reviewed on 26 May 2017 at The Warren: Studio 3 | @brightonfringe

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