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Review of The 4 Clowns of The Apocalypse

The 4 Clowns of The Apocalypse
The 4 Clowns of The Apocalypse

Way back in 1967, a comedy film was released called “The Plank”. What made this film unusual was that there was virtually no dialogue in it. The comedy around the story relied entirely on the action, it was a sensorial treat for all that watched it. I only mention this as yesterday I was lucky en0ugh to see a stage show that used the same principle of silent but splendid acting to tell a story when I caught a showing of The 4 Clowns of the Apocalypse as it visited the Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre.

It is the end of the world and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Pestilence, War, Famine and Death are prepared to fulfill their function and set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment, Well, actually only three have turned up. Pestilence, War and Famine (Eduardo Correia, Abel Duarte and Paulo Duarte), Death appears to be missing. The other three try to contact Death but have no luck so decide to have a bit of a break. What follows is a madcap romp as the three horsemen go wild on the beach without Death to control them.

The 4 Clowns of the Apocalypse is a really nicely put together a show for all ages. This is one production where you can say there really is something for everyone. And the very mixed-age audience I saw this performance with certainly appreciated the fun of the production – even me, with my Coulrophobia – bet you didn’t know a fear of clowns had a name.

This co-production between Absolute Theatre and Teatro Do Montemuro was very slick in its presentation and the three performers worked extremely hard in ensuring that every nuance of the production came over the footlights to the audience, whatever their age. There is pathos, slapstick, gross-out humour and just about everything you could imagine clowns doing, combined with some things you would never think of. I can’t really give too much away but I should tell you, there is some audience participation, and my advice is, if you get picked, then throw yourself into whatever they get you doing – you will definitely enjoy it.

If I had to pick a favourite moment, then there were two. The first was the recreation of something spectacular and the second was the final scene, which was beautiful and quite breathtaking to see.

Overall, I enjoyed The 4 Clowns of the Apocalypse a lot. It was entertaining and, going by some of the reactions from the children in the audience, totally enthralling. I was very lucky at the performance I attended as there was one youngster in the audience that provided a bit of a commentary on the proceedings. Usually, this would irritate me, but the child in question really seemed to have got what was happening on the stage and was completely invested in what he was seeing. I think, for me, the final ending didn’t feel quite right, it was almost too obvious but it was nicely delivered and ended a really great show in some style.

4 stars

Review by Terry Eastham

At the gathering of the Apocalyptic horsemen on the beach at the end of time, it turns out that bringing about the finale of everything is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when the clowns are in charge. With epic scale incompetence, they grapple with universal destruction and deck-chairs.

Absolute Theatre and Teatro do Montemuro’s first co-production
THE 4 CLOWNS OF THE APOCALYPSE which will tour Portugal, West Midlands and London.
Created by Peter Cann, Eduardo Correia, Abel Duarte, Paulo Duarte, Simon Fraser and Andrew Harries.
Directed by Andrew Harries, Artistic Director of Absolute Theatre.
Music composed by Simon Fraser.


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