DramaPhysical TheatreReviewSouth West

What Does Stuff Do? – TFT, Bristol

Writer/performer: Robin Dale Boon

Reviewer: James McColl

In his latest show, What Does Stuff Do? Robin Dale Boon asks the all-encompassing and important titular question. Through his inventive juggling, ping pong mastery, water-bending and philosophical leanings, the Circomedia trained Boon does his best to answer his own question by exploring the relationship between objects and people in a tight hour-long show.

Aptly self-described as Tedtalk-esque, Boon’s on-stage performance is split into two halves; half essay and half memorising performance. If you get lost in the mathematical formulas, codes and pontificating on the connections between objects, only moments later will Boon break out into a new and innovate physical routine demonstrating these theories. To summarise this philosophy, an object has an impact on another object, both of which create negative space. This space then informs the two objects’ relationship to each other. Boon takes this idea and creates beautiful physical theatre and moments on stage with it. It’s an ‘object-oriented philosophy’ that is designed to make you think about the physical world in new ways as well as creating new ways of performing for Boon.

The show bounces between these two states, of circus show and lecture, in a very tightly walked line. Boon’s philosophy gradually transforms into more of a motivational speech as each action – his mathematical pattern formulas inspired by juggling has an equal reaction – Boon’s unique performances.

At times, the theory-heavy lecturing is too dry, noted by Boon at the start forgiving the audience if his scribbling of mathematics goes over our heads. You would be forgiven for channeling a cliché TV character demanding the scientist cuts the ‘techno-babble’ and speak in plain English. Well, Boon’s plain English is his performing, executed perfectly and capturing the crowds’ imagination.

Reviewed on 16th July 2019 | Image: contributed

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Deep-thinking juggling as you've never seen it!

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