Sword and I

This show had so much promise, derring-do, an epic journey, sword, mime and a lot of comedy. However, there is a sometimes a cost to promising too much; the temptation to put every skill one has in a blender, mix them up and serve in an unpolished glass.

Frenchman Bruce Fauveau is clearly a gifted mime artist, an exemplary physical impressionist (he trained at the Lecoq theatre chool in paris) and an impressive dialectician, but he is not a writer and he is certainly not a comic. His idea was smart: put together a comedy show framed by physical montages, tracing the evolution of his epic journey and the cost of fame.

One of the teaching avenues of the Lecoq school is called ‘via negativa’, or never telling students what was right. This is to encourage the sense of play and an ever expanding repertoire of creative expression, and I think this encapsulates the overriding problem of this show. Within a brief hour we are treated to several montages of decadent, masterful and surprisingly amusing mime. However, these are interspersed with ever more sophomoric and, at times, rather offensive attempts at comedy, including an exploration of the sexual attributes of an Adam’s apple and a world tour of every stereotype throughout the globe.

This sad, slap dash joke fest is made doubly frustrating by the moments of true talent. For instance there are some rather ingenious impressions, including an Andean Street musician, but the bizarre polar shift from great to base material throughout leaves one scratching one’s head in confusion as to why the lesser material was even included. It appeared at times as though Mr. Fauveau has written three quarters of a show and was trying to fill for time with material seen and rehashed from a bad, straight to DVD, comedy special.

To add to the confusion, the show suddenly takes an abrupt about face with a very aggressive message about pollution and global warming and a strange post script which seems to have no connection to anything which came before.

It is difficult to know the right barometer by which to measure a show which is clearly such a labor of love. Unfortunately, no matter what the price tag, you cannot gloss over bad with a smile, a couple of good accents and precious few moments of brilliance, no matter how well intentioned or passionate the artist. He would benefit from a little self-editing, a little more self-reflection, an element of polish and a focus on what he does best.

Reviews by Heather Bagnall


The Blurb

Trained at the world-renowned Jacques Lecoq theatre school, master of physical comedy Bruce Fauveau tells the tale of a man who finds an ancient weapon. Surreal sketches, outlandish characters and comedy... lots of comedy.