Halapatooloo presented as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival by the Halapatooloo collective at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace follows Poso, a star arranging clown, and his clown shadow shité. Their daily routine includes a variety of activities from tidying and drinking tea to giving lively recounts of last night’s dreams and receiving necessary earthly supplies from the mysterious well.
Oh right, did I forget to mention that Poso and his shadow live in the clouds? Where else could you find work arranging the stars? Oh and they also communicate through gibberish and gestures. A secret language for them alone.
With the show description in mind I walked in to Halapatooloo expecting to laugh. I did indeed find myself chuckling along with everyone else, but the show held more depth than I originally presumed.
Poso and shité’s relationship molds itself from a combination of the parent/child struggle and the submissive wife/controlling husband dilemma. Shité is effeminate and less experienced than his counterpart. Poso uses shité’s naivety to his advantage by insisting that the shadow live by his rules.
Yet shité is also fun loving and stubborn. These qualities lead him to fight back against Poso’s demands on him. This dynamic, though humorous, is also thought provoking through its commentary on power, knowledge and the role they play in control.
Phil Koole and Simon Gleave both have their own unique, but powerful presence on stage. Though their characters represent polar opposites of a single individual, their relationship to each other and the audience is clear.
I did find at moments that following the transitions between situations rocky. If I missed the beginning of a scenario it was sometimes challenging to catch up until the next one began. The material though was engaging for the audience. I enjoyed a few laughs, and I was left with some thoughts to ponder over. What more can you really ask for from a clown and his shadow?
- Halapatooloo is playing at venue 10 – Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Ave.
- Saturday July 07 at 9:45PM, Monday July 09 at 7:00PM, Wednesday July 11 at 12:15PM, Thursday July 12 at 1:45PM, Saturday July 14 at 5:15PM, Sunday July 15 at 9:00PM.
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge).
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.
photo of Phil Koole by Neil Muscott.