Fringe 2019 Review: 'Ink'



A man with striking monochrome clothes and stark white skin stands on stage, as an enormous roll of blank paper unfurls from the heavens. He carefully selects an audience member, quickly sketches their portrait, and excitedly exhibits it to them, only to instantly deflate and dispose of his creation. The cycle repeats endlessly, growing faster and more perfunctory with each recurrence, until the artist eventually revolts and attempts to forge a new relationship with his artwork before his canvas runs out.

This is the imaginative world of Ink, the new physical theater tour de force from performer Alastair Knowles – better known as the shorter half of the hit comedy duo James & Jamesy – and his partner/director Stéphanie Morin-Robert. Knowles’ nameless character is like an albino member of the Blue Man Group minus the drums; they share a similar playfully philosophical approach to cultural commentary through clowning, as well as an audience-participatory finale.

As a newly developed work, Ink’s pace could stand tightening, but it left some breathtaking images – like Knowles cocooned in a towering column of paper, or dancing with a figure formed from discarded scraps – lingering in my brain for days after. While technically a comedy, Ink demands more patience and intellectual unpacking from its audience than your standard slapstick, ably demonstrating how the circus arts can evoke emotions more complex than mere amusement.

Alastair Knowles
Vancouver British Columbia CANADA
All Ages
60 minutes
Thursday, May 16th 7:45 PM
Saturday, May 18th 2:45 PM
Sunday, May 19th 10:00 PM
Monday, May 20th 10:15 PM
Friday, May 24th 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 26th 3:45 PM  


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