Tension hangs over Melwood like a cloud. The neighbouring villages of Melburn and Meldreth are on the brink of war. There will be dispute. There will be harsh words. There will be flying bread and cornflakes.
Quiet Act of Destruction is the latest show from New Art Club; an inspired hour of lunatic chaos from the UK’s premier (only?) comedy dance duo.
Perhaps a little disappointingly, the dance aspect of New Art Club’s repertoire is kept to the sidelines here. Instead, the pair mug and ham their way through this tale of two villages, focusing on the surreal, nonsensical comedy for which they are also renowned.
The audience are split into factions on arrival, the raked seating of the Bosco allowing equal parts to take the sides of Meldreth, Melburn and Melwood itself (the home of the mighty Wizard; who may actually be a badger). As they use storytelling to recount the conflict over the naming of the local railway station, a score is kept on a flipboard, with a series of increasingly bizarre and comic games being used to decide the ultimate victor.
Quiet Act of Destruction is a lot of fun. Taking audience participation to new levels, New Art Club revel in the messy chaos they create, even using the sound leaking in from performance going on in the neighbouring tent to comedic effect. And with an energetic performance which they throw everything into, the hour speeds past as quickly as an express train bypassing the station at the centre of the argument.
As the bread flies and the pancakes are grabbed, New Art Club have once more demonstrated their uniqueness; and will – despite an hilarious homage to a certain other comedy duo – forever walk their own path. It’s just a slight pity that this year they’ve decided not to dance along that path as well.
New Art Club: Quiet Act of Destruction runs from 8-29 Aug (not 9 or 16) at 18:20 in the Bosco in Assembly George Square. More details here.