Christchurch Arts Centre - The Backstage Social Club, Christchurch

11/01/2019 - 20/01/2019

Ilott Theatre, Wellington

18/03/2013 - 23/03/2013

Capital E National Arts Festival

World Buskers Festival 2019 | BREAD & CIRCUS

Production Details

KAPUT opened earlier in 2012 to a premiere sold-out season at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, where it was nominated for Best Circus & Physical Theatre and described as ‘Definitely one of the loveliest shows of this year’s fringe’ (Adelaide Art Beat).

Directed by Gareth Bjaaland with artistic direction from Frodo Santini, KAPUT is the story of a clumsy ‘Mr. Fixit’ who, despite his best efforts to perform the simplest of tasks, only manages to fuel the catastrophe unfolding around him. This clumsy Mr. Fixit takes one step forward and two steps back in this beautifully poignant silent movie-esque debacle.

Just how hard could it be to set up a projector and a screen? Very, as it turns out! Soon the popcorn is flying and order crumbles whilst the projector takes on a life of its own… A hilariously funny mix of chaos, comedy and acrobatics for all ages, this show is elegant buffoonery at its finest. 

“Tom Flanagan’s silent movie-esque slapstick with a bucket and stepladder, is elegant buffoonery at its fin­est, climaxing with a surprisingly heart-stopping piece of acrobatics.” Three Weeks (UK)

“Amazing acrobatics…an interactive, funny and dangerously clever show. A good laugh, excellent for the kids and all ages.” Rip It Up (AUS)

“The crossover between film and stage tomfoolery is a neat thing to exploit, and Flanagan understands how planks, ladders and pots of glue need to build to a spectacular physical climax. A joyous little show.” The Advertiser (AUS)

“Adults and children alike revelled in the chaos of this charming show. This is physical comedy at its best.” Entertainment Hive (AUS)

“What makes Kaput really stand out is the comedic timing, wit and charm of its star.” the skinny magazine, scotland

Education Dates:  Mon 18 – Fri 22 March 2013
Public Show:  11.45am Sat 23 March 2-13
Venue:  Ilott Theatre
Age:  4 – 7 year olds
Duration:  45 minutes 

Kaput promo video http://vimeo.com/40199243  

Bread & Circus: World Buskers Festival 2019

Kaput, the multi-award winning family show has melted hearts of all ages around the world with its glorious brand of slapstick, acrobatics and total silliness.

The Backstage Social Club – The Arts Centre, Christchurch
11 – 20 Jan 2019
Tickets from $15

Performed by Tom Flanagan

Theatre , Physical , Family ,

45 mins

A classy piece of hullabaloo

Review by Tony Ryan 17th Jan 2019

Kaput , as its title suggests, is all about stuff that goes wrong. Tom Flanagan has created a one-man, family mime show that’s full of hilarious comedy, some passing (and spectacular) acrobatics and warm-hearted, if topsy-turvy, interaction with the audience.  

The kids in the audience love every madcap minute of this show, but it’s just as entertaining for adults with or without children. As one mishap follows another, our sense of dismay at the chaotic and frenzied incompetence of our anti-hero grows – anyone with even the merest hint of OCD should stay away! Every ‘fix’ results in an even bigger disaster as the show proceeds.

The act begins with the premise of an old-fashioned movie show. The first thing to fail is the projector, then the screen, and the show itself quickly becomes the stuff of old silent movie slapstick of the Charlie Chaplin, Keystone Cops, Buster Keaton variety. Mr ‘Kaput’ eventually gets himself into such a mess that he realises he needs help!

Having carefully got into the venue quickly to take our seats in the middle of a row in order to make ourselves as inaccessible as possible, we move to the end of the row to allow a family to sit together. As a consequence my wife, Ursula, spends a good percentage of the show’s duration on stage. Firstly, I myself am removed from my seat as Kaput takes my place to watch the movie with his arm around Ursula. As things start to go wrong, he is soon back on stage and calling on various members of the audience for assistance, including her!

Although a willing father and a little girl (Eve) from the front row are called upon from time-to-time to help, Ursula eventually becomes the co-star of the ‘Love Story’ that’s enacted on stage in place of the failed movie.

To describe anything more would be too much of a spoiler for this very original and clever act. Throughout its hour-long duration we never stop laughing as one catastrophe follows another. Out-of-town visitors at this performance tell us that it’s the best and funniest thing they’ve seen so far, and that’s after they’ve already seen several of the headline shows in the festival.

As we leave the venue we’re struck by the sheer havoc of the scene – popcorn, water and all manner of props have played a part in reducing both stage and seating area to total mayhem. But don’t let that discourage you; this show is ideal (and safe) for everyone from babes in prams to retired fun-seekers – a classy piece of hullabaloo if ever I’ve seen one. 


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Acrobatic, funny and good with his audience

Review by John Smythe 19th 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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