Monday 15 October 2018

Laser Kiwi - Circus Review

What: Laser Kiwi
When: 10 - 14 October
Where: Melba Spiegeltent
Created and performed by: Degge Jarvie, Zane Jarvie and Imogen Stone
Zane Jarvie, Imogen Stone, and Degge Jarvie
I don't know if I have ever had so much silly, ridiculous, outrageously dorky fun as I did watching the Colossal show Laser Kiwi at Melba Spiegeltent. One of the acts in the 'Sidesault' festival, I have to tip my hat to our neighbours in the land of the long white cloud who showed us how to have a whole lot of good, clean fun just for the purpose of laughing our heads off.

The name of the show, Laser Kiwi, comes from one of the quirkier entries in the flag changing referendum New Zealand held in 2015. Unsurprisingly, it didn't win (although it should have, I reckon). Colossal have taken the outrageous and audacious humour of this flag and turned it into a comedy/circus hybrid which - for all the same reasons boaty mcboatface won the ship naming competition in the UK - captures the imagination of everyone and puts a huge smile on the face, and a brings a disbelieving laugh (and occassional groan) to everyone's lips.

Laser Kiwi is much more comedy than circus, but Stone's aerial space walk on the silks is mesmerisingly beautiful, albeit continually interrupted by Degge Jarvie's prop puns. Stone is also something of a contortionist and the final routine 'The Perfect Match' is as funny as it is incredible to watch as she lights matches and candles with her feet whilst doing a handstand, amongst other incredible feats.

Zane Jarvie is the balancing aficionado. One of my favourite routines in the show is the recurring montage of the 'Planet Gobblers'. For those of you who don't know, there is a video game of the same name which involves a giant pair of lips eating planets which are tiny balls of different colours which look impressively like m&ms. Throughout the show the three of them come grunting out on stage and eat their planets. Zane, however, always tries (and fails) to be clever and toss the candy into the air to eat it. Eventually the other two have enough and Zane comes up with a fool proof plan. He has made a mousetrap style maze pillar which he balances on his face.

The idea is he throws it up in the air, it lands in the dish and rolls down this complicated series of tunnels and into his mouth. It was even funnier on the night I saw it. As you know, the nutty m&ms can be irregular in size and in a glorious irruption of reality, the candy kept getting stuck in several places in the tube. It was hilarious watching Degge try and nudge it loose whilst avoiding making the contraption fall off Zane's face.

The Colossal team are not afraid of irruptions of reality and a portion of the hilarity of their show is the way they abashedly share the humour of the fortunes of fate on their endeavours. Laser Kiwi is bursting with prop humour and puns. Some of my favourites were the incredibly accurate snail, the tape worm, and the final front ear.

Another very funny sketch is the one which parodies the Japanese game show Hole In The Wall. Instead of humans they bring up an audience member who plays against Stone with wooden mannequins. Perhaps the one sour note for me was when the last cut out was a pair of boobs. Pretty much everyone in the audience went quiet on that one which made me proud.

Unfortunately the Laser Kiwi season at Sidesault is over, but this week brings 3 new and amazing acts to the Melba Spiegeltent. Get on down and discover what other new adventures are happening in the world of independent circus.

3.5 Stars

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