Gotta hurry, don’t have much writing/blogging time this vacation at all, at all! Turns out that any time I spend writing is generally time I could be spending seeing shows at the all-encompassing, neverending Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and between you and me folks…I’d rather be seeing shows. Which is fine, I think…after all, I never made the attempt to get proper media status at this Fringe, I really am just here to enjoy myself. And while I certainly hope to one day actually perform at this festival, that wasn’t in the cards this year. But a lot of great shows did make it in, and I’m gonna try and write about another of them before me and the Otter sneak away for a day trip to Gimli, whee!
So I’m a bit of a clown man and fan, no secret. I’ve been in a couple of clown-based shows, I’ve been to clown camp on Manitoulin Island, and so I was pretty excited when I first saw the list of shows for Winnipeg. So many clowns! They seemed to be everywhere, which is terrific…there’s even a pair I went to camp with (you’re still on my list, Maple and Sticky)! So picking my first one was tough work, but I eventually settled on staking out the Son of Warehouse venue where Candy Bones was bringing the wonderfully named IDEAS BOBERT to life, all the way from Vancouver. I clambered up the stairs to the venue, was greeted by the most adorable set I’ve ever seen, and instantly fell in love. I was in for something special.
The story is simple…our hero, Ideas Bobert himself (the clown alter-ego of the wonderful Candice Roberts) is just trying to go about his day. But simple actions like getting in and out of bed, having a morning coffee or brushing one’s teeth become a few degrees more difficult in our awkward protagonists hands….thank goodness Bobert is an ideas man! He also has his trusty beloved bird to help him occasionally, although he does seem to be nursing a big crush towards someone special (Bobert, that is, not the bird). And when the phone rings halfway through the show, setting Bobert on his path towards destiny, he’ll have to use all his ingenuity to emerge victorious. But can he?
I’ve already given away too much about this relentlessly delightful show that is over far too soon. Candice Roberts has a talent for clowning invention, her DIY set meshing perfectly with her endearing and frumpy clown persona Bobert. The gags are many and always good, and a few are truly the kind of theatre magic you can never plan for but only hope for, and will leave you with your eyes popping and your heart flying high. Some well-made multimedia accompaniment is used to excellent effect, and the charmingly old-timey soundtrack is always spot-on. Ideas Bobert is a leap into a silent-movie romantic comedy that you will be very reluctant to ever leave. Heartwarming and hilarious, inventive and inspiring…I know that my own theoretical solo clown project just got a creative jump-start after seeing this. Come on down to the Warehouse, and maybe you’ll find your clown too..and if not, you’ll for sure fall in love with this one. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin R (and Baby G)