Thursday, April 5, 2012
5 Stars for Slow Clap's Truth in Rhum
Current Articles REVIEW: MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL (MICF2012): Slow Clap -Truth @ Tuxedo Cat
Written by Ben Kloester
Slow Clap, aka. Vachel Spirason, simply wants to tell us a story - about a strange encounter had on tour in New Zealand, getting lost in an island forest, encountering a naked crazy man, and a promise he made involving a mysterious Coles/Safeway cooler bag. And we, the audience, would really like to hear it. But things are never that simple, and a strange cast of (un)supporting characters would much rather use the stage time, and Vachel's body, for their own purposes.
We soon realise our protagonist suffers a Pavlovian response to music that sees him possessed, an unknowing host to a series of guests. As early as the show's introduction, he is interrupted by a Bollywood interloper and his smoke-machine-laden opening number. We also find a constant companion in Victor, the mute, lethargic, hypochondriac, agoraphobic loser who just wants to be friends. We marvel at Juan, the Andalusian flamenco dancer-artiste, and his empathic performance of a starving black gypsy with an irritable bowel.
Add to this one half of a figure-skating duo, a Czech chess champion 'with Slokavian eyes', an Arkansas lunatic, and possibly others too spit-flecked crazy for this writer to distinguish. The result is a splendid splicing of anecdote with Dadaist interludes, story punctuated with sudden, inexplicable descent into dance, mime or absurd melodrama.
Vachel has great energy, and is skilled at forging a strong audience connection that makes you feel as though you're part of a conversation, rather than passively watching a performance. The really impressive thing about Truth is that every aspect of the show is so funny, so effective. The diverse asylum of characters allow Vachel to show off each of his many comedic aptitudes.
The storytelling is captivating, the dance moves stellar, mime/clowning inspired and the jokes – funny. It's peppered with some blistering one-liners and even some golden situational moments and the audience interaction is hilarious, if a little explorative (exploitative?) of boundaries. I was a little worried how it was all going to be wrapped up, but even then, Slow Clap manages to go out in a burst of glory, leaving even the most cynical comedy-goer feeling satisfied.
The best show I've seen yet this year.
Chuckle Factor: 5 / 5
Posted by S at 4:29 PM