Last Sunday I saw Moving Stationery by Kallo Collective at BATS as part of the Fringe and fell in love with a clown.
Photo by Steve Tanner, from here
On Friday night I saw The Wild Bride by Kneehigh Theatre at the Opera House as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
I liked the clown better.
The Wild Bride had some great music and beautiful imagery, one particularly excellent singer, and some clever ideas and I had a good time. But something about the tone of it didn't sit particularly well with me, sometimes pantomime-y, sometimes turgid modern dance, the first half had a lot of 'telling'. At one point the narrator/the Devil talked about it being a feminist tale, but the main female character barely spoke. This morning I went to a workshop with one of the founders of Kneehigh which was interesting, unfortunately there wasn't time to ask him about the show.
Whereas, Moving Stationery didn't have the big set or the live soundtrack and its story was on a much smaller scale, but it was very clever, the solo actor was incredibly strong and bendy and he had a great connection with the audience. While his character did everything in the most complicated way possible (the string of his tea bag kept falling in his tea, so he tied it to a helium balloon and then had to keep rescuing the tea bag from floating away until it was wet enough and heavy enough to stay in the cup), there were so many moments in which you went, 'I recognise that!' - such as not being able to find the start of a roll of sellotape - that it didn't seem too far fetched at all really. In almost every way the two shows were totally different, but there's still something to be said for the way you feel when you leave the theatre. And when I left BATS, I wrote, 'That was amazing. Marry me.' on a piece of paper on the floor of the stage. I didn't stick around after The Wild Bride.