Flying in the face of ennui

I Forgot to Fly Today

Created and performed by Trent Baumann

Downunderground production

Victoria Fringe Festival, Metro Studio Theatre

Thursday Sept 1, 8:15pm; Friday Sept 2, 6:45pm

 

For the world premiere of I Forgot to Fly Today, i.e., the first time he’s ever performed the piece, Trent Baumann appeared a little under-rehearsed.  And a little less than captivating. But as the minutes wore on, Baumann got into the rhythm and concluded with a trick that is completely original and truly spectacular.

Baumann, who lists his home as Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, is a veteran of the international fringe circuit. Victoria loves him, and so does Victoria, Australia, his native state. He’s best known for Birdmann, described as 21st-century vaudeville. He’s toured that show around the world and made a hit of it at the top-tier Edinburgh Fringe. It’s now available online as a “live” video.

Like Birdmann, I Forgot to Fly Today is part magic show, part circus act, part mime and part stand-up. The script could use a little tweaking but don’t be lulled into inattention by the repeated platitudes about living your dream and minor musings such as, “Maybe the world is just like life. It has a future and it has an ending, just like life.”

The origami paper-made piano playing, balloon tricks and an audience participation feature done before in Slava’s Snowshow lighten things up, but Baumann’s tendency to embrace the mundane gives way to aimlessness in the middle of I Forgot to Fly Today.

Teetering atop his plastic milk-carton arrangement in his cloud-atlas suit, the performer manages to overcome our ennui at his lame mimes and carries us through with a stand-up routine (“I found myself in a park. I knew I’d turn up one day”) followed by a shedding of his suit.

Don’t be tempted to exit before the end, though, because Baumann’s finale is more than worth the price of admission.

 

 

 

 

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