Review: Moving Stationery, Gorge

By Janet McAllister

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Moving Stationery is at the Auckland Fringe Festival until March 8. Photo / Supplied
Moving Stationery is at the Auckland Fringe Festival until March 8. Photo / Supplied

Talented solo circus performer Thom Monckton skilfully controls both his rubbery body and rubbery face to amusing effect in this wordless, mannered and light-hearted exploration of office life. He's at his most impressive and his comedy is at its most unusual when he dances - it's as if Mr Bean were an expert at body-popping, both awkward and graceful, moving and stationary. The show, produced by Kallo Collective, starts off slowly, and some gimmicks are well-worn - the office minion forgets where he puts things, gets rubbish bins stuck on his feet and wears a shirt that matches the wallpaper a la Garden State. But other, well-chosen, details successfully amplify everyday absurdities: checking for food between his teeth in an elevator mirror, wrestling a padded anorak onto a hook and looking for the end of the sellotape forever. His substitution of a helium balloon for a teaspoon is spiffing.

Bureaucrats will relate to the finishing touch: a cascade of papers all marked "urgent". Only 45 minutes long, starting at 5:30pm, its timing as well as its content is family-friendly.

$15-$18.

What: Moving Stationery
Where: The Basement Studio, Greys Ave, to March 8

A little girl's birthday party is a fabulously loaded location in which to explore attitudes towards food. This ambitious, fantastical devised two-hander by Virginia Frankovich and Phoebe Mason starts off innocently, if scatalogically, as a children's pantomime. Comic creatures in bouffant Restoration wigs - whose, er, waste products include sweets and cupcakes - ply their wares. We, the audience, also have sweet treats pressed upon us (go along hungry to enjoy the full effect of the piece).

Directed by Benjamin Henson, the two talented comic actresses play a number of characters, including two gluttonous flies, who steal the show as well as the cake.

But it gets dark quite suddenly: where another Fringe outfit is called "Binge Culture," this show is about the culture of binging and purging. Nobody onstage is being held up as a healthy role model; no answers are given.

The script needs more focus and clarification, but the candyland set and surprise props are fun, and the show's ending does a great job of grossing us out. $13.

What: Gorge
Where: Old Folks Association Hall, Gundry St, to March 9

- NZ Herald

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