Originally published by Buzzcuts, Express Media
Dr Brown Because is a one man French absurdist inspired show, that features Chinese masks, a notebook, chopsticks and a notorious apron. Performed in an intimate theatre room to an audience of around 20; Dr Brown Because is all about putting you on the spot and making the most of the awkwardness we feel when we have no idea what is going on, or what to do about it.
Dr Brown is a late night show because it feature strong sexual references and concludes with an apron-only wearing scene. The rather well lubricated audience seemed to enjoy the frequent crass verging on vulgar scenes, perhaps with the exception of the girlfriends of the audience members who had been picked to volunteer on stage. Definitely a show for an audience who have already enjoyed a few beers and aren’t scared of a little interactive performance.
The opening scene of Dr Brown is the winner. Absurdist slapstick that made the most of minimalist set and played on the confusion of the audience. However from that point onwards the show disintegrates into a series of skits that rely on audience bewilderment, and perhaps fear of humiliation if they don’t comply, in order to succeed. It’s a difficult tactic to assess – is Dr Brown a great showman for creating a space where the audience is compelled to react for lack of understanding of what is expected of them? Or, is he manipulating his audience into response through cheap tricks – asking them to leave if they don’t laugh loudly enough whilst simultaneously mocking those who do buy into his antics?
Dr Brown had some excellent moments using his own bizarre form of theatre to mock the similarly bizarre social norms we mindlessly take for granted. Unfortunately, if you are after witty social commentary then these scenes are few and far between
If making fun of breast feeding, jokes about cavernous vaginas and general displays of genetalia aren’t your thing, Dr Brown Because is not the show for you. But if a little unpredictable, participatory theatre after a few beers sounds entertaining – then you won’t leave Dr Brown looking for more shocks and thrills.