Tatterdemalion is a one-man mime and puppetry show in which the audience are among the most essential elements. The performer, our tatterdemalion – an archaic word meaning a ragged character in tattered clothing – never speaks but takes his audience through a number of entertaining scenarios with great skill.

Tatterdemalion is a ludicrous adventure into the mind of a mime and, as long as you are willing, it’s a lot of fun.

He jumps right in even from before the show, starting the audience participation straight off the bat in the queue outside. In fact, the main flaw to this show would be the need for the audience to be capable of playing along save for our mime’s incredibly sharp instincts in reacting to the uncertainty introduced in this way. The effect of this is that there is no way of telling for the majority of the show which parts are planned and scripted and which are the result of performer Henry Maynard’s spontaneous ingenuity. Maynard also creates a character so endearing that it is difficult not to want to add to the show as much as possible if called upon. This is evidenced by the fact that within his audience you often find yourself making his sound effects for him, despite seemingly little coercion. Particularly fantastic moments of audience participation included some help putting on a shoe that resulted in a funeral, and a train journey that took a very unexpected turn. Maynard has a brilliant talent for telling his stories: while the focus is not on his skills as a mime and his physicality, his use of props and noises as well as humour mean that audience is rarely lost. This does mean that you cannot help but feel a part of the show, because everybody literally is. It’s a kind of partnership: Maynard relies on you in order to create and you rely on him to create well, which he certainly does.

The tatterdemalion’s scenarios are interspersed with vignettes of high-quality puppetry, demonstrating the skill used in Flabbergast’s previous Fringe hit Boris and Sergey’s Vaudevillian Adventure. The point at which a shirt becomes a puppet for a short spell is entrancing. The use of a sinister figure of Death in another puppetry section is similarly engaging and intense, though it doesn’t necessarily fit into the rest of the show, distracting more than other sections from the overall boisterous and surprising feel. Regardless, Tatterdemalion is a ludicrous adventure into the mind of a mime and, as long as you are willing, it’s a lot of fun.

Reviews by Laurie Kilmurry

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The Blurb

From the creators of Boris and Sergey comes a one man show featuring puppetry, physical comedy, and mime. In this hilarious, absurd and often magical show that juxtaposes themes of loneliness and belonging with joy and exhilaration we are invited to witness one man's quest for a friend. Pathos, dark humour and Victorian aesthetics combine to create a wonderful and mysterious backdrop to a poetic and surreal journey. 'Joyful, intelligent and downright funny.' **** (ViewsFromTheGods.co.uk). 'Wonderful to watch, fizzing and brimming with ideas' **** (LondonTheatre.co.uk). 'A beautiful, bite size slice of absurdity' **** (ExeuntMagazine.com).

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