Reviewed by George Fenn
Things That Funny is the debut show of Nikita Rybak in which he plays the dysfunctional family of the young birthday boy, Putin.
These characters are tastefully rendered with functional costume pieces and aptly animated with distinct posture and functional gesture.
Structurally the show is airtight, cramming all all the hallmarks of an hour of clown. Silly songs, interactive games and mystery boxes. Combined with the contrasting characters creates a delightful journey through the day.
Because the show is so packed with content, and also since this was his first performance ever there were a few things to watch for future performances. Rybak could take more time to sit in each moment of realisation. There are plenty of surprises in the performance that would be bigger with more suspense.
Also never wear socks on a stage floor, you can die. (If you want to wear socks for dramatic reasons, wear the bottoms of the sock down with sandpaper so your skin can grip to the stage and you won’t fall over.)
An interesting unplanned moment was when the show was hijacked by a merry family in the front row. Rybak playing the moral authority on acceptability, Putin’s grandmother, lost control of the show for a moment. Although in theory his instinct of finding the solution in the audience was valid, another is skill is recognising when to get people to shut up.
Things that Funny is a very promising performance in both delivery and composition from a fresh talent, what a great addition to the Nelson Fringe.