Henry Maynard created Boris and Sergey and toured internationally as a puppeteer with War Horse, this year brings a new show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Tatterdermalion.
In a departure from the puppetry of his previous shows, this is a show all about him and his physical comedy as a clown. Before the show even begins he works his way down the queue outside punching tickets with enthusiastic glee and then proceeds to join the audience in the seating, whooping and clapping as if to welcome the act to the stage. This introduction to his character sets up the show beautifully and was an excellent preview of the hour of wonderful physical clowning we were about to witness. He makes use of a travel case filled with props to tell stories making use of an ineptly worn shirt to create an elephant or a fire truck or even the scarf of a man driving a convertible, during these and without saying a word he manages to convince the audience to supply the sound effects for him. His ability to convince an audience member or multiple audience members to join him on stage and become his props, without ever saying a word is a joy to behold. At one point he had convinced about a 3rd of the audience to join him on stage and take part in the antics of murderous ticket inspector on the London underground. There are still some elements of puppetry that wonderfully break up the action and clowning.
He looks and sounds like a homeless Mr Bean and you can see many of the influences in his work with echoes of Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau, the show is very whimsical and feels like a child’s interpretation of what real life is and will have you grinning throughout, take an hour and feel like a child again.
★★★★ and a half