Thursday, 6 July 2017

Review Mr Potsunen's Peculiar Slice Of Life 2017


Mr Potsunen's Peculiar Slice Of Life 2017
by Kentaro Kobayashi

Playing Solitaire
http://www.the-print-room.org/

Mr Postunen's Peculiar Slice Of Life is a neat little tale constructed as a series of theatrical sketches about the eponymous eccentric gentleman.

By sketches we mean literally sketches - the creator of Mr Potsunen, Kentaro Kobayashi, started off as an illustrator and moves fluidly and with immaculate timing between projections and live performance.

It's a clever and polished act performed by Kobayashi, who is also an actor and comedian and, without any words, straddles the boundary between adult and children's entertainment.
 
Far from being inscrutable, Mr Potsunen wears his heart on his dapper gray sleeve as he lives a solitary one and three-dimensional life where his daily rituals are interrupted by unexpected events.

From our European point of view, Kobayashi's character seems to hearken towards  the mime of Marcel Marceau and Jacques Tati.

But the landscape he inhabits is a surreal one reminiscent of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine animated by Robert Balser and Jack Stokes and Terry Gilliam's Monty Python. Alice In Wonderland vertigo is also present, as is the uncanny symbolism of freemasonry.

The sketches, which also of course draw on the Japanese Manga tradition, form together an elusive but gradually beguiling story of objects metamorphosizing into living creatures mixed with touches of modern life like parcel delivery.

They lead and accompany Mr Potsunen as he slips in and out of animations on to The Print Room's performance space, as fellow performer Daisuke Minami camouflaged in black, traces delicate patterns with rod puppetry.

It's altogether charming, interacting with Heath Robinson-style animated creations mixed with delicate, fluttering creatures.

Mr Potsunen takes the audience on a psychological journey with leaps of imagination reflecting the psychology of  the unconscious and dreaming and a child's simplicity.

The musical notes of flute and brass drift across the scenes, You could do worse than pass a whimsical hour or so in the company of Mr Potsunen And His Peculiar Slice Of Life in a show which runs until July 8. It's an amber/green light.

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