Saturday, February 18, 2012
Tom Flanagan's solo debut, Kaput, is a full service show.
Not only is it a one-man dynamo of a show... but he also stamps your ticket as you enter, provides the popcorn and mingles with the crowd after the show.
I would quite happily put this show alongside both of the shows by The Boy With Tape On His Face.
The feel of the show is quite similar in a lot of ways (a predominantly silent performer, great comic timing, the great use of props, a liking for the lovelier female audience members, a bucketload of charm), although Flanagan's show has more of it's roots in a kind of Chaplin and Three Stooges type of slapstick (although Ma compared him more to Norman Wisdom).
And if you're familiar with that genre of humour, then you will see some of the gags coming a mile off, but Flanagan performs them with such enthusiasm, style, comic timing and often acrobatic skill that it doesn't matter. I still found myself laughing for almost the entire show.
Plus it doesn't hurt that he's as cute as a bug's ear... and charmed the audience without a word.
There are a few standout moments (mostly involving a ladder, but also, surprisingly, one involving an apple) that show off his circus skills, but it's Flanagan's performance that really makes the show.
And how can you not love a performer who is clearly enjoying himself so much that the audience's reaction makes them laugh. In fact Ma was having such a great time and laughing so much, he not only laughed because of it but also shushed her (in a nice way).
It's definitely a show that's worth a look (I would suggest an evening show... the 3:30pm show may be a little "kid heavy"... unless you have kids, then by all means)... and I think we'll be seeing more of Mr Tom Flanagan in future Fringes!
Also, buy a sticker or a fridge magnet afterwards... and tell him how much you enjoyed the show!