Losing It

Absurd humour twists and turns, and tugs the heartstrings

★★★
dance review | Read in About 2 minutes
31104_large
Losing It
Published 06 Aug 2017

Losing It is a clown show, but a deceptive one. It's consistently surprising, not least in the range of emotions the grotesque characters and absurd theatrical devices provoke. Boris and Ingrid are an elderly couple. Or they have been. The show explores the loss of minds, loves and lives that, almost inevitably, comes with age. Memories jangle with reality, inspiring hilarity one moment and pulling beyond poignancy the next. 

Clown duo Lana Biba and Txema Perez—2theatre—have been directed in this UK premiere by comedy theatre expert Cal McCrystal. It's not just the nutty humour that lands well though, as we find ourselves crying over a cauliflower or sniffing over an empty deerstalker on the hat stand. The melange of puppetry, music, and exaggerated characters can best be likened to the combination of bizarre yet deep'n'meaningful in cult YouTube series Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. 

In an odd way, the production also reveals a little of the lives of those in caring professions, as musician Bird Radio appears daily dressed in nurse's whites, strangely—but deliberately—distanced from Boris and Ingrid's own cosy world of vodka tots, bananas and an ever-present promise of a visit from The Children. His kazoo playing and cabaret allow him to join in the delirious fun, at other times returning to more elegant melodies to underscore the action.

The show goes on a scene or two beyond its natural climax point, but the eventual ending rounds things off with a lovely hopeful note. If you ever thought clowning was only red noses and facepaint, this show will put you right.