by Paula Citron.
Puzzle Me Red
Mump and Smoot/MKProductions
Created and performed by Michael Kennard
Masks performed by Shantelle Landry
Directed by John Turner
At Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Jun. 28.
In theatrical clowns, the red nose is still there, but substance elevates these shows above circus. Theatrical clowns are very melancholy and, at the same time, very profound.
Michael Kennard is the Mump of the clown duo Mump and Smoot. Puzzle Me Red is his one man show directed by the Smoot half, John Turner. Kennard’s clown is Biv Rogy. Biv is a corporate man who drives a hummer. His credit cards are maxed out and he survives on pills, alcohol and yoga. Members of the audience are also characters, so be prepared to play along.
While one laughs at Biv, parts of the show are very unfunny. In Biv’s worst nightmares, the stuff of headlines keeps him moaning, such as the terrors of 9/11 or the Artic ice cap melting which are shown through imaginative masks performed by Shantelle Landry.
Biv is a memorable character, and all too familiar.
Puzzle Me Red continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Jun. 28.