In a dark basement venue below a café is where I found myself on several occasions towards the end of last week. One of the last shows I saw at this years Prague Fringe was Clown Radio performed by Swedish performer Oliver Nilsson.
This wonderful slapdash array of comedic nonsense was thrust into the faces of the audience in a very humorous manner. For the most part Oliver did not say a word and used the audience as a puppeteer would use dolls to shape and create his piece. Given the small nature of the venue (around thirty seats) even though most seats were taken at this performance, almost every audience member was called upon at some point. This is a bold move, as a shy audience member or even straight up refusal could derail the show entirely. Thankfully the handful of incidents this occurred were dealt with masterfully and other audience members were happy to take the responsibility.
In a Mr Bean-esque performance style Oliver brought the audience through a medley of comedy skits. Many hitting their mark superbly with only a couple falling in places. His wild expressions and direct interaction with audience members kept people on their toes and engaged with what was going on. A solid forty-five to fifty minutes of this style of comedy did start to grate on me (this was rectified slightly when I myself was encouraged to sing a song I didn’t know to a coat stand in the corner of the room), but I cannot deny how much I was consistently laughing, nor can I deny the laughter of my partner who accompanied me, who would often look over red faced with tears in her eyes at the absurdity of what we were witnessing.
Whilst technical features and some executions of gags could be tidied up, this show is great in its current form, and has huge potential for the future. I will be sure to catch the next version of the production if I can and see what new tasks Oliver has for his audience.
Recommended Drink: A strong whiskey to build your confidence for probable audience participation.
Performances of Clown Radio have now concluded at Prague Fringe. Keep up with Oliver online for future performances.