Friday 10 April 2009

Review: La Cleta i la Mandarina

Teatre Riereta, Barcelona,
2nd March 2009

This is a little gem of a kids’ show that manages to bring together some lovely clowning and some very neat magic. Magicians have a tendency to be clever folk, as the skill of misdirecting the audience’s attention is usually allied to a well-developed intellect. And that doesn’t bode well for clowning, which as we all know relies on a well-developed stupidity.

However, La Cleta achieves a marvellous unification of her two brain hemishperes, remaining utterly silly whilst completely foxing her audience... and herself! Instead of using magic to fool us and impress us with her superior skill, she uses it against herself, the joke almost always being on her.

The clowning is simple yet to the point, such as La Cleta’s exclamation of “I did it wrong!” every time she makes a mistake, or her habit of asking an audience member’s name and then claiming she is called the same: “Same as me! We’re the same!” And a wonderful example of how to be negative as a clown: whilst the two clowns do impressions that are easy to guess, La Cleta repsonds to the audience’s correct suggestions every time with a “no!” that is so innocently addressed to us that, despite it being grammatically negative, comes across as a complete affirmation.

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