Edinburgh Fringe 2012
A one-man clown and mime show with plenty of (not always willing) audience participation and a whole lot of fun. Back on the Fringe with a brand new show Doctor Brown is quickly becoming an international comedy sensation.
Doctor Brown (Phil Burgers) is a crowd pleaser, without doing very much the persona he has created is like an annoying, mischievous little monkey boy. As I entered he kicked me in the bum from behind the curtain, and he spends the first ten minutes of the show running around behind it, peeping out and holding things out for audience members then pulling them back and running off. When he comes on, wearing a thick beard and peculiar spiky hair and a sort of wizards cape, he addresses the audience by looking innocent and shrugging his shoulders.
His cheeky features and facial expressions, along with his stage presence, go a long way in creating a dynamic and charged atmosphere. He keeps up continuous expectation as to what he is going to do next – sometimes doing very little but keeping up that level of unpredictabilty. He begins a series of classic mime scenes, skillfully playing multiple characters without appearing to try very hard. The second half of the show sees him get someone from the audience to act with him by playing some of the other characters from the first half. He occasionally runs into the audience, attacks people and steals their clothes, but at the end you can hug him on the way out.
This is the kind of show an audience loves and perhaps without a willing one it might not work so well, for Mr Brown is very cheeky and quite forceful in his approach yet because of his charm gets away with it. One gets the feeling it would be impossible not to enjoy this, for it is the simplicity of it, the natural curiosity he draws from us along with the confidence and ease in his approach that is so engaging and easy to like.