Creators: Nathan and Ida
Reviewer: Richard Maguire
Nathan and Ida have two shows playing at the Space’s Send in the Clowns festival. Tropez!, their newest show, is an inventive 50-minute of comedy gurning and miming, but ultimately too much of the humour is in the same register.
Georges played by Nathan Peter Grassi is on holiday in St Tropez in the 1950s with an older woman, Dorothy. Georges is a friend of Dorothy’s, so to speak, and soon he’s swept up by the movie star glamour of the French resort, meeting the moustachioed man of his dreams. He also bumps into cat burglar extraordinaire Le Chat Noir aka Frankie aka Ida Berglöw Kenneway.
Together fey Georges and butch Frankie plan a heist to steal the second biggest diamond in the world, currently being displayed in St Tropez. Can they outwit the security, and the gendarmes? Can they pull off the crime of the century? But before their daring escapade we encounter countless other characters all played with gentle charm by Grassi and Kenneway with the help of a hat, here, and a tiara, there, all pulled from a couple of suitcases at the stage’s edge.
With so much build up, it’s a slight disappointment that the heist doesn’t quite live up to expectations, but there are some laughs on the way. Nathan and Ida are good at creating characters but perhaps more attention could be given to the creation of tension in the story because at the moment Tropez! is more like a series of unrelated skits than a tight structured narrative.
At times, Tropez! is too undemanding, and the jokes are sometimes repetitive. Much of the humour here is obtained by the performers’ facial expressions and one starts to long for other kinds of jokes. At one point the two gendarmes become handcuffed to one another and this becomes the funniest part of the play as it requires more than just a dropped wrist and a raising of eyebrows.
There’s no doubt that Nathan and Ida are a talented duo, and their storytelling is clear, but if this old-fashioned humour is to work, there needs to be more excitement and variation.
Runs until 17 August 2019 | Image: Provided