The “world’s greatest comedy-acrobatic-kazoo duo” have arrived at the In the Soil Arts Festival in St. Catharines – but you can just call them Philip and Lucinda. Philip (Myque Franz) and Lucinda (Zita Nyarady) of The Philip and Lucinda Show lights up the Oddfellows Temple yesterday with their charmingly chaotic style of clowning in one of the most memorable acts of the festival so far.

The pair have a bit of a slow start with a string of avian-inspired jokes that have many crying “fowl”. (pun oh so intended). Lucinda attempts to heat things up with a sultry ‘lamp-dance’ and Philip seeks to win the audience over by reading a lengthy poem about his chicken-related neuroses. Still coping with lukewarm responses, Lucinda resorts to bribing viewers with dino-candy and at that moment, inexplicably, everything changes.

Pulling out skillful acrobatic routines and a ridiculous rock ballad à la kazoo, the hopelessly endearing pseudo-British duo deliver to the audience, and particularly to this reviewer, exactly what a half hour of clowning should: uncontrollable, side splitting, and slightly hysterical laughter. Each new gag, from an attempt to share a kazoo resulting in a steamy kiss to an original interpretation of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as an example of what Lucinda refers to stoically as “serious theatre”, brings something fresh and unexpected.

While Philip and Lucinda scramble to keep the whole act from unravelling, the energy that accompanies this chaos is electric and intoxicating. Participatory elements which take the absurdity of the routine even further, shout outs to the technical crew for each cue, and – whether intentional or not – happy accidents such as pant-splitting inspire ever-increasing amounts of infectious laughter. Once the audience catches the laughing bug, there is no cure. We belong to the colourful characters who are clearly giving all of themselves to us in order to make each audience member’s day a little brighter.

Fearless, frantic, and fantastic, Philip and Lucinda of the Grand Salto Theatre deliver grandly on humour and – while comedy-acrobatic-kazoo duos may be as rare as the dinosaur-chickens Philip fears so greatly – it means the couple certainly delivers on their claim to be the world’s greatest of their kind.


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