The Door knobs
Odlins Plaza, 26th Feb 2022
Reviewed by: Tanya Piejus
A last-minute venue change from Cuba Street to Odlins Plaza made finding The Door knobs a challenge this weekend. Once I’d unearthed their social media post and hot-footed down to the waterfront, I discovered I hadn’t missed the start as feared because they were running half an hour late.
My second frustration was realising that my understanding of what I was about to see wasn’t what I’d interpreted it to be from the advertising. I’d arrived expecting to see four performances in one one-hour show. However, each artist performs only once per day, so the stated show duration of 240 minutes is literally that. Like most people, I don’t have four hours of my life to devote to street theatre and had a different expectation of something included in the Fringe Festival.
Organisational and advertorial sketchiness aside, the two Door knobs performances I did catch were entertaining. Clown Fraser Hooper was on first. Fortunately, he is not the traditional white-faced clown that I always found terrifying even before the movie version of Stephen King’s IT. He is of the modern, surrealist style with a cute dance, silly electronic sound effects, and a predilection for ducks. His show relied heavily on the cooperation (or not) of the mostly young audience members who gamefully held inflated balloons, chased a motorised mallard, and wore a fish head to swim in a fake pond. The fact that his final stunt was an epic fail due in part to the overzealous propulsion of a plastic duck into the air by an audience member was probably funnier than if it had worked.
The second, shorter, performance was by Patrick ‘Tennis Tricks’ Federer. Anyone who can squeeze their whole body through a destringed tennis racquet deserves praise, as does someone who can ride a two-metre-tall unicycle and juggle three tennis rackets while doing so. He also made the valid point that laughter is great for mental health, which is what street theatre is all about. And I did laugh.