Pros: Skilful clowning and other circus skills made to look deceptively easy.
Cons: The fart jokes grate after a while, but did still elicit hoots of laughter from the children in the audience.
If you are going to subject your younger friends and family to a bout of Christmas shopping over the next few weeks do yourself a favour and relieve some of the boredom by taking them along to see Ongals: Babbling Comedy. In fact, even if you didn’t drag any offspring along with you, go anyway. The Korean troupe have had successful runs at Edinburgh Fringe, Australia, New Zealand and south east Asia over the last year or so, so they must be doing something right.
The thought of grown men dressed in baby grows, crocs and milk moustaches horsing around for an hour may not seem very appealing, but it is amusing, with many laugh out loud moments for both children and adults. Playing different child-like characters who crave audience approval, they use only a handful of words throughout. The language barrier is overcome by way of gestures and Mr Bean style facial expressions and noises, they make themselves understood perfectly well, managing to get the audience clapping and cheering when required.
In amongst the silliness there are displays of juggling, beat boxing, balloon animal making, bell ringing, hoop throwing and whip wielding all using a never ending supply of props from a ‘TOY’ box and, of course, made to look deceptively easy. There is a little bit of audience participation so sit further back if you want to avoid that.
A different take on the traditional circus clown troupe, Ongals is adapted for a small theatre space and works well. An hour is just about the right length to get all the set pieces in, much longer and the fart jokes and toddler impersonating would start to grate a bit too much. Ongals is the perfect antidote to crowds, queues and grumpy commuters.
Producer: Kada Creative Lab
Box Office: 020 7478 0100
Booking Link: http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/ongals-babbling-comedy/
Booking Until: 6 January 2018