Opens Oct 27

Marcel and The Art of Laughter

4 reviews
0 reviews

Theatre for a New Audience presents this double bill of comic one acts. 'Marcel': a poignant two-hander about the collision of clowning and mortality, and 'The Art of Laughter': a comedy about comedy.

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'Marcel': From Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Parisian home of Peter Brook, comes this story of an aging physical comedian and an inscrutable, clipboard-wielding nemesis mysteriously enjoined to test him with a battery of absurd tasks. In 'Marcel' slapstick meets the limits of age.

'The Art of Laughter': Jos Houben dissects everyday life – a baby’s first steps, a man falling in a restaurant, the essence of various cheeses – revealing why laughter is at the core of our humanity. Part performance and part masterclass, 'The Art of Laughter' is about comedy at its most fundamental--what makes audiences laugh.

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Cast & Creatives (5)

Reviews (4)

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The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "A funny, heart-breaking show...Right from the start the fourth wall is breached and the show continually reaches out to the audience, playing us with a knowing sweetness...It’s a brief hour that gives the kiss of life to the ancient art of the gag, and it echoes not just to the laughter of this particular audience but of all audiences who, down through the ages, have laughed and recognized their own absurdity in the comic antics of the clown." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "The overall impression is of childlike clowning combined with ageing innocence, and light-fingered slapstick which is mildly entertaining...While there is some discernible progression, the production suffers from a lack of structure, though the evident chemistry between the two performers prevents it from slipping into random banality...Occasionally poignant but not very penetrating...The kind of piece which ends up penciled rather than inked on the memory." Full Review

Plays to See

for a previous production "Houben has honed his technique to perfection and so his soliloquy on laughter is a detailed analysis of the human body and psyche...Every aspect of our movement, reactions, emotional state and surrounding environment has comedic potential. Throw in the mix a talented, eloquent, and witty performer delivering a flowing and example-rich lecture...and you get an hour-long hilarious delight with sprinklings of anthropology and psychology." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "A masterclass in physical acting that explores the cause and effect of laughter...Houben picks out the details we subconsciously notice and consciously shows us their comic potential...Houben’s confident manner demands the attention of the audience...Houben’s demonstration of different ways of walking, moving our head, or gesturing causes great hilarity amongst audience members...His dissection of physicality is fascinating and very informative not only for actors, but for everyone." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

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