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Edinburgh Fringe 2022


For Example Theatre

Genre: Clown, Comedy, Theatre

Venue: BlundaGardens


Low Down

Two friends navigate fish and friendship from their little boat in this hilarious and heartfelt performance.


The rain pattering on the roof of the BlundaBus makes for an especially atmospheric performance of this nautical comedy the night that I see it, though the performers hardly need any help from the elements when it comes to creating an atmosphere. The virtuosic clowning from Nancy Trotter Landry and Paulina Lenoir perfectly evokes their watery world.

Staged with deceptive simplicity, this performance explores everything from losing a hanky to the nature of death itself. Our two performers, clad in tie-dyed jumpsuits, greet us from their boat, a rickety vessel constructed from cardboard boxes and tape. The aesthetic here is conspicuously homemade, which only adds to the charm. We are invited to join in their brilliant act of make believe, as hands become binoculars, the audience members’ feet become fish, and performers become octopodes. It is deeply silly and enormously fun.

Both Lenoir and Trotter Landry have the gift of being able to make you laugh, without you being entirely sure at what you’re laughing at. Lenoir is the more domineering of the pair, taut with frustration as she attempts, with predictable lack of success, to steer their meandering conversations. Trotter Landry is more soft spoken, with her animated expressions and sotto voce asides providing some of the funniest moments of the show.

Both place an enormous trust in their audience to come along with them and this is rewarded with enthusiastic laughter and willing participation. There are still some kinks to work out in some of these moments, but by and large everything goes smoothly. The pair are extremely present performers, and seem to take delight in adapting to the unexpected, be it audience behaviour or the limitations of the BlundaBus’s tiny performance space.

The physical limitations placed on them by the space generally work in their favour in fact. Even though they spend the first half of the show confined to the corner their little boat occupies they use every tool at their disposal to make us laugh. It is a masterclass in restraint, as the slightest movements take on great significance. I almost missed these limitations in fact, when the show takes an existential turn in the second half and the performers’ bodies are freed at last.

BOAT! truly is something special, and if you have an opportunity to come and see this warm hour of gentle clowning you should take it.