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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Loucho

Circus in a small space
Loucho doesn't always succeed, but it's amibitious
by Sarah Deshaies

I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t getting it. Maybe it was me, but it was hard to slip into a fantastical little trip down a rainbow. 

Nice, simple story: a villain steals a multi-coloured machine, and our hero, Loucho, endeavours to save it, the colours and the girl all in one go. Cute. 

But somewhere between the acrobat antics in shades of blue and green, and the louche juggler Claude and some hula-hooping, my heart started to soften. 

Loucho: The Multicoloured Machine is an exercise in small-scale circus within a small space. It’s an earnest little show, the second clown-circus spectacle put on by new theatre company Le Nouveau International.

Dunderwaits has usurped the Multicoloured Machine and thus all the colours.

Clowns Loucho (Mark Louch) and Sam (the always entertaining Lise Vigneault) don Woody Allen glasses and seek to undo the mischief committed by Dunderwaits (Sandi Armstrong). He’s the colourless, grunting, cellphone-peddling capitalist, a cross between Snidely Whiplash and one half of Spy vs. Spy. 

Dunderwaits has usurped the Multicoloured Machine and thus all the colours. Along the way Loucho and Sam find colourful characters who cheer them on and present them with balloons. You’ll meet the Blue Silk Spider Goddess (Marina Salonga), the spinning Abigail (Esmerelda Jasso-Nadeau) and swinging Claude (David Louch).

Original music follows every step, with Jeff Louch on an organ. 

The show is subtitled as a ‘Circus with a Story for Everyone.’ but I think this is an especially great tale for kids. (Except for the very youngest or those deathly afraid of clowns; one child wept loudly at our show when Dunderwaits was onstage.) It’s even got a little message about our addiction to electronic screens and the resulting social isolation, and the power of love and imagination. 

So turn off the TV, grab the youngsters and haul them over to see this whimsical show.

Loucho: The Multicoloured Machine runs until Dec. 2 at Théâtre Sainte-Catherine, 264 Ste-Catherine. $15 a ticket, $8 for the little ones 8 and under. Length: just over an hour. 

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