Tom Flanagan is like a modern day silent film star. Reminiscent of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin before him, he creates chaos from the simplest of tools to a soundtrack of ceaseless laughter from his audience.
Fans of those silent film comedy stars will recognise Flanagan’s tributes to some of their greater known sketches, adding an extra layer of delight and anticipation to the antics that unfold on stage.
In a makeshift cinema, his loveable but hapless character attempts to screen a film but, when the projector breaks down, his attempts to rectify the situation get progressively worse. There’s more than just slapstick involved, however, as he flips off ladders and reveals glimpses of his real-life circus training in the mayhem.
A few audience members get involved in the action along the way but Flanagan is always respectful enough not to embarrass them. Without the imaginary fourth wall separating him from the audience, he’s at liberty to respond to their reactions along the way too, and he does so without breaking character.
This is family-friendly comedy at its best, refreshing and appealing to all ages.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Umbrella Revolution, Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park, Adelaide
Season: 28 February – 11 March
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $19.00 – $28.00
Bookings: FringeTix, Box Office in Rundle Mall, or phone 1300 621 255