As the audience shuffles into the auditorium, action is already taking place on stage. Two of Homo Irrationalis’ three remarkable performers lie in a folded position, their backs (with two ‘eyes’ painted on them) facing the audience. They’re engaged in a nonsensical discussion about scientific research, which stops only once the show has officially started.
It does get weirder from here, yes, and that’s the most wonderful thing about this hour-long physical theatre and clowning showcase. At no point does H.I. take itself too seriously – the movements are carefully choreographed and precise but the sight gags are often quite cheap, in the best possible way. There’s very much an air of The Marx Brothers or Laurel and Hardy about the humour that gives the piece a delightful charm.
While the charm is spot-on, the logic is sometimes lacking. Granted, that’s to be expected from a show about irrationality, but certain sequences stretch it too far. That aside, though, the piece runs along at a wonderful pace, with the energy never letting up. Ygal Tsur, Hugh Stanier and Christopher Owen have great stage presence, and their physical prowess never fails to impress.
Ultimately, as funny or as nonsensical as Homo Irrationalis is, it’s the physical ability of the three performers that stands out the most. Even when deliberately trying not to, there is a grace to their movements that is wonderful to watch. Clowning is an extremely difficult art-form to perfect, but they make it look easy.
Homo Irrationalis is a show about evolution and, as with Wonders of the Universe (choreographer Karol Cysewski’s previous production), the marvel of science. The science may merely be a backdrop here, but the performance is certainly marvellous.