[20060060] Chaplin’s Eye

Chaplin’s Eye

@ Queens Theatre

11:30am, Sat 11 Mar 2006

Initially, this looks a bit lame – a skinny red clown ponces about with a suitcase. She’s joined by a lardy green clown and another suitcase. Ponce ponce ponce, yawn. At least Green was enthusiastically bouncy.

The third clown – a nervous orange – joins them, and I’m taking notice. Orange is great, her ticks and twitches causing her to stagger around the stage in a most amusing manner. A fourth clown – this one sky blue – seems much more restrained and expressive – a nice contrast, since Red’s gone all flamenco on us. Then Chaplin himself rolls up – he, too, is ace. The four clowns, Chaplin, and a plethora of suitcases all… um… clown about for a bit, before the show is over.

The bow was great – all came back on-stage in character. Orange is awesome.

I stay and have a quick chat with a profusely sweating (hot days and Queens Theatre don’t mix) Chaplin – Ira Seidenstein, who also directed Anatomy of Discourse. I ask him how the season’s been; he nods earnestly, says “it’s been OK”, and then admits that he was thinking of cancelling the rest of the season; they weren’t getting enough people in to cover the cost of the Theatre (which, from what I’ve heard, is more than a touch pricey for the performers).

I look around – there was less than a dozen people at this performance. At 11:30am on a hot Saturday.

This show was one fully deserving of that Homer Simpson quote from “Lisa the Vegetarian”: it was good, but not great. And $30 for a “not great” clowning show that even kids would get bored in (the start, I mean – the latter parts are good, or at least better) is taking the piss a bit. Especially when most of their season was at night.

It was indeed their last show.

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