Take all the angst, tension, violence and hate that there is in the world, scrunch it up into a ball, and nonchelantly toss it over you shoulder. Open yourself up to a world of magic and whimsy, where nothing is as it seems and anything in the world can be achieved if you only wish for it. This is the world of Wolfe Bowart, one half of the Shneedles, who is performing solo in a show that's one of the hits of the Festival: LaLaLuna.
LaLaLuna is a sublime piece of performance art. The premise is simple: our scatterbrained lead has seen the light in the moon disappear, and takes it upon himself to correct this astronomical malady. Along the way, our man encounters balls to juggle, suitcases to climb, balloons to enter, whoopee cushions to play, inner-selves to communicate with, chickens and giraffes to impersonate and audiences to thrill.
Bowart is the ultimate physical performer. He has a breathtaking self-awareness of his own body, and glides effortlessly across the stage with balletic skill. His sleight-of-hand is magnificent and fits in so neatly that you sometimes barely notice that its there, which allows the audience to be swept away in the dreamy mystique that Bowart seeks to create.
A recurring theme in the show is that the ordinary can become extraordinary. Much of the magic derives from ordinary household objects. A basket of laundry is soon a ticket to an imaginary universe, whilst a garbage bin is a place to retreat from the outside world. One of the most incredible is a full-bodied balloon, which creates the Freudian image of a man re-entering the womb. And dancing once inside.
LaLaLuna is a show for all ages. Whilst kids will delight at the sight gags, adults will enjoy, well, the sight gags as well. But from a slightly taller vantage point. And possibly with facial hair. This show is sheer brilliance. It's a travesty that it isn't playing to a full house every night.