The evening’s show, the Logic of Nothing tumbled us into the chaotic and gadget-filled world of the Oscar Boffin (performed by Matt Pang of PanGottic circus/theatre company).
Reminiscent of an old style mime show, our entertainment was introduced by a simple hand poking out from the top of a wardrobe. And not just your average wardrobe. Or your average hand for that matter. With the aid of a small white ball (a common catalyst in the show) and a series of carefully contrived wires and wizardry contraptions, the wardrobe partially collapsed, revealing our protagonist, Oscar Boffin.
We were whirled by gadget demonstration through a most unusual mind.This was no ordinary show. But then a show billed as both Heath Robinson and Albert Einstein inspired is going to be pretty out of the ordinary. Our man Boffin amazed, astounded and definitely entertained with his ambitious capers using inventive contraptions for simple tasks. Each one painstakingly set up to trigger cause and effect. And, it seemed, setting up gadgets for the sake of it. An obsessive compulsive gadget loving indulgence. And why not. Thrown in with this was some spectacular clowning and juggling. Oscar Boffin (Pang) with one eye on the watching crowd, won his audience over with his charming performance.
In a true miming style, there were no works but a soundtrack using the actual sounds of the contraptions and gadgets themselves. With carefully placed mics and the occasional looping at timely moments, the sounds were in keeping with the action. And the odd bit of Burt Bacharach in the background which was suitably both fitting and slightly surreal. Oscar Boffin’s ambitions to line up objects for reactions coupled with comic timing were generally very funny and occasionally hilarious.
As the title suggests there was no particular story – more like a series of off the wall sketches giving us an insight into the world of an eccentric inventor with a gadget fixation, linked by a juggling theme. It was comparable to a one man stand up comedy show without words. Very clever, bold and fun. Matt Pang held the space extremely well – as did his chosen audience participation ‘volunteer’ when it came to experimenting with an expanding balloon and plans to pop it!. The momentum gradually build up and towards the end the audience were definitely integrated with the action, complete with full belly laughs.
This was a clever show with magic moments, delivered professionally whether the gadgets themselves delivered or not. Full marks to PanGottic for the thought, engineering and enterprise involved in the preparation of Logic of Nothing. A lot like the fizz of the balloon experiment; nerdy science meets gadget and clowning wizardry. Definitely fun.
Logic of Nothing runs at Brewery Theatre until Feb 1st 2014
– Review by Francesca Ward