Marcel + The Art of Laughter
“Two of contemporary theatre's greatest clowns, funny, heartbreaking” - The Guardian
“Jos Houben is so pinpoint accurate with his body, you might imagine laughter dying from dissection.” - The Guardian
“Poignant, Powerful... Recalls Chaplin, The Marx Brothers... Silent comedy that speaks volumes” - Evening Standard
DOUBLE BILL: A PAIR OF COMIC ONE-ACTS
October 27 – November 19, 2017
C.I.C.T. / Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
Created by and Featuring Jos Houben and Marcello Magni
Coproduction TANDEM – Scène Nationale
From Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Parisian home of Peter Brook, comes a poignant two-hander about the collision of clowning and mortality. Jos Houben and Marcello Magni, who starred in Samuel Beckett’s Fragments at TFANA, are comic masters and original members of the famed Complicité. In Marcel, which they co-created, they play an aging physical comedian and an inscrutable, clipboard-wielding nemesis mysteriously enjoined to test him with a battery of absurd tasks. Slapstick meets the limits of age and “all ages laugh and recognize their own absurdity in the comic antics.” – The Guardian
THE ART OF LAUGHTER
Created by and Featuring Jos Houben
Production: C.I.C.T. / Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and Compagnie Rima
A comedy about comedy, part performance and masterclass, about what makes audiences laugh. Performing in English, Jos Houben, dissects everyday life – a baby’s first steps, a man falling in a restaurant, the essence of various cheeses – revealing why laughter is at the core of our humanity. The Guardian calls it a show about “how a body can make people laugh.”
“Marcello Magni and Jos Houben are two of contemporary theatre’s greatest clowns,
“Jos Houben is so pinpoint accurate with his body, you might imagine
“Poignant, Powerful…Recalls Chaplin, The Marx Brothers…Silent comedy that speaks volumes.” – The Evening Standard review of MARCEL
“An hour of inspired silliness endowed with a poignant core. Houben and Magni, wonderfully relaxed yet alive to the moment and the audience, keep us in a state of pleasurable suspense wondering what they’ll do next. Although there are neat sprinklings of verbal wit, the root of the laughs this highly skilled pair generate is slapstick. Clever yet elementally funny and marked by a knowing innocence about life and death, Marcel is resonant entertainment.” – The Times review of MARCEL
“A pianist practices day after day for the muscles that guide his fingers to become so flexible that we can begin to speak of the art of piano playing. Actors do exercises to develop their bodies but this has no meaning until they go beyond their muscles.
Both Jos Houben and Marcello Magni spent years in the rigorous schooling of Jacques Lecoq, and then the demands on each performer in the Théâtre de Complicité, to develop their thoughts, bodies, and feelings to the point where making theatre can truly become an art.
It is a work of high theatricality that the two – Marcello and Jos – create together as one performing body when they bring to us MARCEL. In THE ART OF LAUGHTER, Jos goes way beyond what he can explain in words, it is in every inch of his finely tuned instrument where a smile and answer take their real place, which leads us into the great unknown. This art is THE ART OF LAUGHTER. Marcello has similarly developed his craft through many living experiences.” – Peter Brook
“Jos Houben and Marcello Magni are two towering figures representing some of the highest form of physical theatre and clowning existing today. They are splendidly brilliant.”
– David Shiner, Lucille Lortel Award, OLD HATS with Bill Irwin.
The TFANA Talk on November 4 will feature Tanya Pollard in conversation with artists Jos Houben and Marcello Magni.
The TFANA Talk on November 11 will feature Ayanna Thompson in conversation with artists Jos Houben and Marcello Magni.
Trailer: MARCEL + THE ART OF LAUGHTER
The total running time of Marcel + The Art of Laughter is 2:15. Each production is 60 minutes plus one 15-minute intermission.