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sydney festival : the king of taking @ the neilson nutshell

The funny man on stage alone for almost an hour entertained the adults and the children. Part physical theatre, part comedy and mostly mine, this is wonderful Festival of Sydney fare. The funny man playing the discombobulated King is New Zealand’s Thom Monckton. Monckton trained for two years at New Zealand’s circus school CircoArts and two years at the physical theatre school Lecoq in Paris. 

The petulant King can only tread on red carpet. Should he step off the carpet, his body collapses – and Monckton can fold down his body in very funny ways. Further, the King can only move to the sound of fanfare. This, too, is a great set up for comedy. 

Why is he the ‘King of Taking’? Because audience members were invited to bring him a small gift. The ticket said “Please bring a present for the King (yes, seriously, bring something you don’t want anymore – gift-wrapped).Many did, and the King wittily opened probably 20, making each gift into something special to the delight of the children who had brought the presents. Then, a fully-armoured knight clunks onto the stage near the end of the performance. The befuddled King and the bedecked knight close the show with obscure dialogue. 

Monckton’s performance in last year’s Festival was The Artist.  Let’s hope he comes back again in 2025. Monckton is an engaging, inventive performer.

 

 

 

 

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