Glastonbury Festival; 28th June 2014
Wandering through the Kidz Field at Glastonbury Festival, I notice a star-spangled truck in clear bright primary colours, emblazoned with the logo Circus Fudge, and a blackboard announcing a showtime that was fast approaching. I settle myself down on the grass to watch a fumbling fellow in a lab coat trying to adjust his washing machine and, when he brings out plastic mats for seating (encouraging us to get closer to the bunting that marked out his playing space) I willingly oblige.
Mick ‘Fudge’ Chapman presents an intriguing and comical figure as he bustles around his stage ostensibly preparing for his show, with canary yellow highlights peeking out from beneath his labcoat and goggles . His timing to the pre-recorded music of uplifting tunes is excellent and a tiny girl seated next to me turns and tells me seriously, ‘He’s funny, isn’t he‘. I enjoy watching Fudge adjust his start time board accordingly as audience members gather and, when it clocks round to ‘NOW’, he is welcomed with warm applause.
Fudge has strong mime skills, and a wonderful clown logic that surprises and delights. His fire juggling has a comic twist when he discovers he’s missing a third club, and his easy interaction with the audience produces a happy sidekick to participate onstage. At one point I thought the dignified young boy was about to be transformed into the Statue of Liberty, but that possibility never quite followed through.
The human cannonball grand finalé is in keeping with the blundering tone, and does not disappoint. I’m struck that the human cannonball act must be one of the greatest theatrical examples of willing suspension of disbelief going.
It was a fortuitous wind that blew me into the Kidz Field, as Blunderfudge is a thoroughly entertaining show for all ages, and just what I needed to lighten my afternoon.