Described as “an odyssey of self-discovery”, L.I.A.R. loosely tracks the cycle of life. The show, created and starring award-winning comedian and acrobat Remi Martin, swings between crude comedy and mesmerising acrobatics.
L.I.A.R. begins with a chaotic exuberance, which has an energy that matches kids putting on a show for their parents, before sliding into enthralling acrobatic performance. The live music makes these transitions seamless. Orchestrated by Tarran the Tailor, a unique and experimental musician from Canada, L.I.A.R.’s musical score interweaves unconventional styles of futuristic rhythms, “whisper blues”, and beatbox.
In a sketch that is difficult to explain (so you should really just go and see it), L.I.A.R. descends into raucous comedy. Remi takes slap
dick *ahem* slapstick comedy to an undeniably funny but nevertheless crass place.
Despite L.I.A.R.’s crudeness, the show is underlined by a refined, practised professionalism in the actual acrobatic performance. What sets L.I.A.R apart from other acrobatic comedies is that, for a few moments, you believe Remi is actually on a boat, he’s actually ascending to the sky, he really is spacewalking. L.I.A.R. is visually stunning and, at times, utterly convincing.
For a Fringe show, the effects are unreal. Lighting, sounds, and wind machines all merge with a mish-mash of different performative styles; and whatever cohesiveness the storyline lacks is made up for by the talent of the performers. L.I.AR.’s co-star, and previous Cirque du Soleil “Dralion” star, Mandi Orozco deserves her own show with her contortion and aerial silks alone. She brings a gravity to the performance that has nothing to with remaining on the ground. The calibre of Remi Martin, Mandi Orozco and the third performer Tom Ball make L.I.A.R. a world-class acrobatics performance for the length and price of a Fringe show.
L.I.A.R. will light up the Garden of Unearthly Delights until 1 March.
Words Anna Day
Photography Daniel James Grant