Comic Thom Monckton Embodies Art of Laughter
“Thom Monckton has demonstrated what an outstanding physical comedian he is during several previous Fringe visits. In The Pianist he used his gangling frame and rubbery face to puncture the pomposities of classical music. Now, the New Zealander is back with another masterful display of the art of wordlessly eliciting laughter,” Donald Hutera writes in a review of The Artist, which Monckton recently performed in Edinburgh.
“Created, as was The Pianist, under the auspices of the Finnish company Circo Aereo, The Artist is a rib-tickling delight,” Hutera writes for The Times.
“The setting is an atelier, complete with Pollock-like flecks of colour staining the floor. Monckton, wearing glasses beneath skew-whiff ginger hair, is having trouble finding his muse. He has what seems like a bad case of painter’s block. But distractions are everywhere: in a drip from the ceiling, a misshapen wooden frame (which he does eventually make right, only to staple one of his socks to it) and even the public. The Artist features a spot of audience participation. But never fear, for Monckton is expert at that too. At the performance I saw, the person he plucked from the audience was never made to feel uncomfortable or look a fool.
“But then much of the pleasure to be derived from the hour-long performance lies in our willingness to go wherever Monckton guides us. He has great audience rapport, and a talent for applying precise comic timing to a character who seems exaggerated yet true, sly and innocent. There are neat flights of fancy here as well as surprising and spot-on sight gags. Some involve a fruit basket, just ripe for a still life, which he instead brings to hilarious life. In Monckton’s case, this show is aptly named.”
Monckton is originally from Patea. He is now based in Helsinki, Finland.
Original article by Donald Hutera, The Times, August 22, 2018.