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The Bicycle Men review at Underbelly

Pure delicacy, pure delight, pure undiluted madness. I can’t think back to this show without breaking into fits of laughter. The concept is quite simple – an American tourist has lost his bike in the French countryside and embarks on a strange journey of cultural clashes and discoveries.

Translated in stage terms, it means a wannabe Broadway star finds himself in a really good improvised comedy about a journey through the European theatre genres, including corporeal mime, puppetry, slapstick comedy, more puppetry, theatre of the absurd and – puppetry. In a way, it is a micro-version of the Fringe itself.

But saying anything like “if you can see one show this year, make it this one” would be just a euphemism for what should really be obligatory viewing everywhere from Bruxelles to DC. Not that there is anything politically relevant in this show – where Dutch students lull themselves to sleep with loud Japanese folk songs and, even less tastefully, excrement is paraded on food trays – but it is such an exquisitely funny and well-timed feelgood piece that it literally caters for every possible cultural taste around.

Production Information

Underbelly, August 4-28

Author/cast
Dave Lewman, Joe Liss, Mark Nutter and John Rubano
Running time
1hr 5mins

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