Clowns connect

DAY ONE: A PREHISTORIC CLOWN SHOW, written and performed by Helen Donnelly and Pierre Trudel, directed by Susanna Hamnett. The.


DAY ONE: A PREHISTORIC CLOWN SHOW, written and performed by Helen Donnelly and Pierre Trudel, directed by Susanna Hamnett. The Space (489 Dupont). Runs to October 29, Thursday-Sunday at 8 pm. $10. 536-4323. Rating: NNNfont>

Adam and Eve couldn’t have looked as bizarre as the gibberish-spouting Dahgo (Pierre Trudel) and Foo (Helen Donnelly), the first inhabitants of a new world in Day One. But then, Dahgo and Foo are closer to bouffon characters like clown kings Mump and Smoot, who in fact taught Trudel and Donnelly and whose anarchic clown sensibility inspires Day One.

As in most clown works, the audience’s pleasure comes from the relationship between the figures onstage and occasionally that between actors and viewers, and Donnelly and Trudel shine under Susanna Hamnett’s direction.

Dressed like a gold dinosaur with rubber digits — part amphibian, part stegosaurus — Donnelly is the more endearing figure, delight, amazement and playfulness apparent in her fine physical and facial work. The multicoloured and slower-paced Trudel is like her younger brother, a cross between an exasperating chimp and a baby in need of a caregiver.

The show’s video segments — a countdown to the end of the world, Monty Python style, featuring the same actors as newscasters — aren’t necessary, or even all that funny. They, and a climax that happens too quickly, detract from the clown duo’s strength, which is sure to develop in future shows.

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