What’s on Stage

30th Jan 2014

4 stars

Logic of Nothing is a show which celebrates the joy of silliness, and leaves our reviewer smiling ear to ear.

Logic of Nothing is an exciting new performance from PanGottic, the young British Israeli Circus Theatre Company, exploring the poetic qualities of both the simple and complex things that we take for granted everyday.

The show is one of the most intricate forms of circus entertainment I have ever encountered. Combining the joyful simplicity of clowning, with the sophistication of Heath Robinson inspired contraptions, this is both awe-inspiring and outlandish entertainment.

A DIY enthusiast’s dream, as you enter the theatre, you are immediately thrown into the playful world of physicist, Oscar Boffin, who builds and uses mechanical contraptions for just about everything you could possibly need. From dancing robots to collapsible wooden wardrobes; you name it – he has built it.

Oscar is a non-verbal role, performed excellently by Matt Pang. Emulating the genius eccentricity of Albert Einstein, he is scatty and impulsive. His excitement and anticipation is child-like in its execution and holds that special joy that a person feels when watching a toddler doing something extremely exciting – like crayoning or playing with a cardboard box.

A little slow to begin with, the show picks up after the first five or ten minutes. Throughout, Pang displays a range of circus skills, from juggling to magic and his character’s inventions are beyond the imaginations of most.

Set to a unique soundtrack of hums, echoes, thuds, reverberations and amplification of sounds taken from the contraptions themselves, our mime times his movement with the noises nicely. One particularly entertaining act comes towards the end, when audience members are invited to join in with the performance and chaos ensues.

Whilst there are inevitably times when the contraptions suffer minor failures, this is to be expected when working in physics, and Pang makes up for the failures of the machines, or even his own judgement with comedy. In fact, some of the most joyous moments throughout the show are those that begin with a blunder. This tomfoolery, in turn, adds to the playful scientist’s experimental nature.

Whilst the concept and execution of The Logic of Nothing, is undeniably complex, the emotional experience is quite the opposite. It is quite humbly about experiencing joy in silliness. I felt as though I had been part of a really good game of ‘Mouse Trap’ and I left the theatre smiling from ear to ear.

(Hannah Sweetnam)

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