One elfin woman, a stage and a scarf. Not much to keep an audience entertained for an hour you would think, but such is Lucy Hopkin’s courage and genius as a performer she had the audience guffawing throughout her one woman ‘Art Show’.
A masterpiece of physical comedy and self-referential performance art which rewards its audience with an exhausting supply of genuine belly laughs
Hopkin’s adopts the persona of a self-indulgent performance artist who is scathingly dismissive of the audience. She begins by introducing us to some of her creations, two in particular are by turns endearingly fearful and powerfully dramatic. Hopkins is a graduate of two of the French schools of physical theatre which ‘emphasise the physical playing of the actor’ and the audience watches in wonder as she magically transforms between characters with a flourish of cloth, an alteration of posture and an array of facial expressions, gestures and voices. Gradually, it becomes unclear just who is the creator and who are the characters (and indeed, whether these are characters at all or alter-egos) as ‘the artist’ starts to lose control of her creations - a crescendo of hilarity is reached as she battles for dominance. Hopkin’s artistry is not limited to the physical, the script is well-crafted and her play with words and pronunciation has highly comical results. Her nightingale-sweet rendering of La Vie En Rose is tragically funny as her voice dies out, strangled by unrequited love.
It’s a shame that the momentum of the show seems to be lost towards the end as the frenzy and humour of the battle concludes with a metamorphosis and calm (accompanied by a number of furrowed brows) that leaves the audience a little flat. Regardless, Le Foulard remains a masterpiece of physical comedy and self-referential performance art which rewards its audience with an exhausting supply of genuine belly laughs.