Hastings Story Telling Festival
Two Clowns Trapped in a Cardboard World was played out in a set made entirely of cardboard at St Mary in the Castle as part of the Hastings Story Telling Festival. The play featured two clowns, Dik and Adam, who performed a charmingly vulgar routine of puppetry, ventriloquism, mime and theatre, forcing engagement upon the audience using a hilarious array of props. Periodically, the two clowns are suspended as puppets by a transcendental voice that uses Adam and Dik to practice a segment of a puppet show. The celestial being, incidentally, is also a clown – Poko the Clown – and the only time you see Poko is when Adam and Dik perform a puppet show of their own with dolls that look like themselves controlled by a sinister looking third doll. The two plan to escape their cardboard world by switching clothes with two members of the audience but are interrupted. At this point, Poko makes them remove their last bits of clothing, jump up and down, thrust towards the audience and rub up against each other. As well as being a dicks-out clown show this is also an absurdist commentary on the human condition. By putting the audience on stage the show invites us to imagine ourselves as all trapped in a cardboard world occasionally pulled by strings controlled by a clown and doomed to humiliating failure in our attempts to escape.