Adelaide Fringe Review: Tom Flanagan in Kaput – Garden of Unearthly Delights

A word of warning; if you have a phobia or are allergic to pop corn then Tom Flanagan’s show Kaput is not for you. For everyone else though, read on.

Kaput is a show in the mold of the ageless slap-stick style, from comics such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to more modern day proponents such as Mr Bean. With minimal dialogue, the action is played out using body language.

The premise is simple; a tear in the projection screen at the cinema needs a quick repair. Things spiral quickly out of control and the more Tom tries to fix things, the more convoluted and funny the result.

There’s a movie projector that “misbehaves”, paper and glue that has a mind of it’s own and ladder and trestle that entangle and trap. Tom’s acrobatic skills come into play here with several routines that push the boundaries of physical possibility.

The kids squealed with delight and there were one or two “adult” jokes that went straight over the children’s heads but made this a show that appeals to young and old alike.

Of course no show like this is complete without audience participation and this show has it in spades. The trick with successful audience involvement is the ability to choose people that would play along and those chosen were so convincing that it was almost as if they were planted.

The device of using a movie theatre as a setting meant that the story line held the visual jokes together well, and of course we all lived happily ever after at the end, but not before a guest appearance from Tom’s seven month old son, Ernest, who is destined to be a performer himself.

Kaput is a fast paced, funny show that pushes Tom Flanagan’s acrobatic skills to the limit. Bring the kids or simply head in and enjoy it yourself.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Kaput plays on weekends until 12th March in the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

The reviewer was at the 4pm session on 17th Feb