Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Nothing is as pure and innocent as the sound of children’s laughter, and as we all know they can be a tough crowd. So huge props to the team behind The Artist for keeping the little ones entertained while giving adults plenty to chuckle at.

Conceived and performed by clowning sensation Thom Monckton, The Artist is a one man circus show about the art of…art. Making it, studying it, appreciating it…and everything in between. It’s the art of being clumsy. It’s the art of overthinking. It’s the art of being absent minded and hilariously daft, to the point where you could hear the audience silently screaming “No! Not the staple gun!!” as Monckton casually runs the device over his limbs while hovering and contorting in impossible positions.

At a brisk but very fulfilling one hour duration, everything about this show from concept to design had maximum audience engagement. Unlike other shows of late which have broken the fourth wall only to dissolve into a pool of silliness, the makers of this show really know how to play with objectives and obstacles to keep the audience hooked all the way through, without (thankfully) resorting to profanity. An interactive ping pong scene with the audience ends in a huge uproar of cheering when a ball finally lands in the bucket (such is our collective need to get behind all things sports related). That kind of tactic really works, and it’s testimony that a show has done well when you hear families discussing afterwards how much they loved their favourite scene. Especially the spooky canvas / crazy painting / freaky fruit bowl banana scene.

Ah yes, the freaky fruit bowl banana scene. Definitely worth 5 laughing emojis just for that. 😂😂😂😂😂🍌🍌

The Artist presented by Sydney Festival is on at Seymour Centre until 22 January. For tickets and showtimes go to https://www.seymourcentre.com/event/sydney-festival-2023-the-artist/
Image credit: Antti Saukko

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