L.I.A.R. (Life Is A Rehearsal)
Wacky and bizarre, the L.I.A.R. show is a weird journey which takes us loosely from infancy through to adulthood utilising traditional circus skills in a unique way. Life Is A Rehearsal is full of surprises with some brilliant moments intermixed with some twaddle.
The LIAR Company is Berlin based but the four performers have diverse origins – German Remi (who occupies centre stage for much of the hour long performance) is an acrobat with superb pole skills, aerialist and contortionist Mandi is from America, multi-instrumentalist Tarran is Canadian and roadie/ stage stooge Tom is English.
L.I.A.R. is essentially a variety circus show with some unconventional elements. A couple of ‘themes’ run through the show to add to its uniqueness.
Live music is a great feature utilising Tarran’s talents to the full – beatbox, banjo, accordion and his singing voice are prominent, and Mandi also contributes at the keyboard.
The other theme is best described as ‘wardrobe functions’. Remi takes the task of dressing (and undressing) himself to another level with some great physical comedy particularly in ‘entering’ a pair of shorts, or a pair of trousers, with no hands.
There are several highlights – Tom and Remi dancing to Tchaikovsky’s ballet music with skateboards, Mandi’s sublime work on the silks, Remi as the office worker up the mast of a ship in a storm, Mandi elevating a sheet of plastic to a shimmering work of art and the Space Oddity piece accompanied by David Bowie’s familiar tune is a delight.
Sadly there are also a couple of elements which grate and don’t really fit with the overall visual comedy and excellent circus skills. Particularly unfortunate is a scene with blow-up dolls which isn’t clever nor requiring any great skills but more pertinently it just isn’t funny.
It was met with embarrassed near silence from the audience and there was palpable relief when it finished and the team got back to what was otherwise ‘prime-time’ entertainment.
There are many things to like about L.I.A.R.. With some judicious editing of the material it has the potential to be a great show.