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Print Version

Capital E National Arts Festival
Director - Gareth Bjaaland
Artistic Director - Frodo Santini
Producers Strut & Fret Production House

at Ilott Theatre, Wellington
From 18 Mar 2013 to 23 Mar 2013
[45 mins]

Reviewed by John Smythe, 19 Mar 2013

According to the poster board, Cinema Kaput is about to screen a love story. But the film projector is ‘kaput'. It's not projecting.

The logical thing would be to see what was wrong with the machine but we're in clown land here, so when the picture fails to show up, this projectionist – performed by Tom Flanagan – tries to fix the screen. And of course the more he tries, the worse it gets. 

We're into good old ‘don't try this at home' slap-stick humour here, involving holes in paper (the screen) and trying to patch them, rolls of paper, sticky tape, trestles and planks, a bucket of ‘paste', a ladder …

The comedic routine is well underway when Flanagan executes his first spectacular back-flip, proving his credentials as an ‘acrobatic clown'. He actually started tumbling, twisting, flying and falling at the age of six, with Australia's Flying Fruit Flies Circus school, and has been performing ever since, including with Circus Oz. Kaput debuted last year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and won a Spirit of the Fringe Award.

As well as the physical comedy and acrobatics – all geared towards solving his ever-escalating problem – Flanagan is skilled at working with audience members, both adults and children.  And he does it all without words, making his attempts to get people to interpret his wishes some of the most entertaining sequences. 

Oh, and it is with the aid of an audience member that the ‘love story' eventually plays: a sequence that has the capacity to change school children's perception of the chosen teacher forever. 

The schools audience I saw it with loved it. There is a public performance at the Ilott Theatre (Wellington Town Hall) on Saturday 23 March at 11.45am. 
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