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Print Version

Auckland Fringe 2013
by Kallo Collective at Wellington Fringe
Created and performed by Thom Monckton

at YMCA Conference Room, Hereford Street, Christchurch
From 18 Jan 2013 to 26 Jan 2013
[50 mins]

Reviewed by Lindsay Clark, 19 Jan 2013

Anyone who has ever battled with a dispenserless roll of cellotape knows about the treacherous nature of desk equipment and will sympathise with the travail of Sigmund, created and performed by Thom Monckton.

Poor chap, he is bound to end in exhausted tangles from the sequence in the lift, taking him to his new office job. Attempts to catch the strings of his tie-on headgear see him already overheated before he even tries to make a cup of tea, consume his sushi or retrieve a pen.

Anxious, angular and wordless, he engages with furniture and objects in a series of mildly humorous encounters in which he is always the loser. In the manner of a true clown, he never gives up, but continues the struggle, sometimes stuck to objects, sometimes contorted in impossible positions, until he eventually exults in the freedom of tossing paperwork into the air.

The idea is an appealing one and although many of Sigmund's predicaments come about because he initiates a quirky action, such as fixing his tea bag to the dangling string of his smiley (mocking ?) welcome balloon, we can accept the basic proposition that objects meant to help us in a straightforward way can be perversely obstructive.   

Concentrated energy, an extraordinarily flexible body and a mobile, expressive face are features of the performance. While never uproariously funny, it does sustain momentum as well as developing a tentative narrative and the audience was both interested and responsive.  
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 John Smythe
 Nik Smythe
 Maraea Rakuraku


Fergus Aitken posted 19 Jan 2013, 10:56 PM

Having seen this show a number of times at different stages of its development, this commentary only serves to remind me of the incredibly subjective nature of experiencing live comedy.  

To describe Tom's work as 'never uproarously funny... the audience was both interested and responsive' is completely at odds with the critical acclaim and (massive) laughter and applause 'Moving Stationery' has been met with, from audiences, industry colleagues and Awards panel judges alike.

And to feel the need to mention what he eventually does with the teabag is 'reviewing' at perhaps it's laziest, revealing a high point that is, in my experience of that moment, neither expected or just 'quirky'.

Editor posted 19 Jan 2013, 11:11 PM / edited 19 Jan 2013, 12:00 AM

See also reviews from the double bill The Fickle Finger of Fate