Arm: Mirielle and Matthieu is a piece of French absurdist theatre in which two grown adults play with toys. The pair attempt to flog junk items by turning them into props or characters in a feat of clowning. From giant gnomes to miniature matadors, Mirielle and Matthieu use a number of different objects and voices to create a bizarre collection of scenes.
The show starts strong, loses itself slightly in the middle, and eventually runs out of momentum. However, despite some timing issues, the audience were extremely receptive. Most of the sketches were very popular and, despite the bizarre nature of the performance, the production played on the audience’s innate childlike sense of humour. It’s a silly show, but also a good demonstration of theatre in its abstract form.
Each sketch usually works along a structure of comic threes: this is initially successful but again, loses its charm as the performance continues. The ending isn’t as strong as it should be, and doesn’t leave the audience with the satisfaction of a complete piece of theatre. It’s more of a compilation of moments rather than a structured piece, with some hits and some misses.
If you want a show that you will never be able to accurately explain to someone else, and that leaves you picturing a grown man wearing a dog food bag, then this is the show for you.
Words: Catriona Davidson
Picture: Wouter de Groot
Arm: Mirielle and Matthieu, Summerhall, Aug 15-27 (not 21), 4.20pm