BWW Review: OUT OF ORDER, Southbank Centre
Six clowns take to the stage. They sit and stare at one another, before one of them launches into a giant rage. As a game of cat and mouse occurs, the other clowns struggle to break the pair apart. They attempt to hold them back and block their path by putting obstacles in the way. Eventually, calmness resumes and the six sit down. But it doesn't last for long, as the music begins again and more chaos arises.
The above is pretty much the premise of the entire 90-minute show. Several games are played over and over again; the repeated action taking its toll as the performers get increasingly tired. The audience watch everything unfold; however the main struggle here is that it fails to retain the viewer's attention. The action unfolding is initially intriguing, however when you see it multiple times, there is not enough variation of action to make it exciting.
And for that reason, the time drags and the show is pretty boring. It isn't surprising that there are a couple of walkouts; once people clock on to that's all they were getting, they were straight for the door. That being said, the level of clowning is of a high quality, and if this were an exam at Jacques Lecoq, then each performer would score very high. But a hypothetical high mark in this discipline does not automatically guarantee a brilliant show.
As well as the game of chase, there are also interactions with balloons, horns, a table and some chairs. Again, on first glance it's exciting, but each exploration goes on for way too long and it needs to be much shorter. 30 minutes could easily be chopped off this piece, and even then, it'd be a stretch to retain attention.
It's a shame that the show leaves you feeling pretty disappointed and it isn't what you come to expect from the usually brilliant, Forced Entertainment.
Photo: Forced Entertainment