New Town Theatre
5-30 August (ex. 17) 21.30
Lights up. The portly Leygnac comes on stage with a suitcase clutched in his sweaty hand. Snap. He pulls from its shallow depths his lithe, yet momentarily wilted companion Thibaud. Hoisting him onto the piano stool, he starts to crank him up like an old car until he sparks into life with a sudden jolt and begins thumping on the piano’s keys. So kick starts these Frenchmen’s anarchic mime act full of physical humour.
The chemistry between these men is wonderful as they move from sketch to sketch: Thibaud playing the tightly-wound pianist who becomes increasingly frustrated with the endless interruptions and tomfoolery of his buffoon admirer Leygnac.
An accomplished pianist, Thibaud provides the soundtrack to his partner’s clowning whilst joining in with many of the show’s capers and also having his head licked from time to time…
Their energy and versatility is remarkable. Leygnac contends in the Tour de France, and then with the bowels of a lion having just been eaten (his great escape as a misfortunate Ring Master, through a long and winding intestine was beautifully executed and very amusing). Thibaud, on the other hand, should be applauded on his disquieting elasticity. The audience were in stitches was when he was unceremoniously trampled down into a minuscule suitcase, only to free his feet and scurry to the piano, which he proceeded to play, while still incarcerated.
For lovers of mime this pair will tickle you pink; billed as an affectionate homage to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton among others, this show is intelligent and funny. However, with a running time of 75 minutes, it is too long and as a consequence the pace and material does begin to dwindle. Not wholly satisfying but good fun.