Fringe review: L.I.A.R. (Life is a Rehearsal)

High-flying and hilarious, Remi Martin’s L.I.A.R. (Life is a Rehearsal) is an unmissable experience pulsing with life. ★★★★ ½

Feb 21, 2020, updated Feb 25, 2020
Photo: Hong Nguyen

Photo: Hong Nguyen

L.I.A.R takes us on a journey through life from childhood to adulthood, with all of the minutiae in between. It begins with Remi Martin (star of shows like Limbo and Blanc de Blanc Encore) being born from a giant bubble, with aspirations and dreams in his heart – and a toy astronaut in hand.

The wonders of youth, the awkwardness of puberty and the heart-breaking responsibility of adulthood are all on display. Whimsy abounds in the collision of seriously impressive physical skills and outrageous comedy.

The show is a visual treat, with very little dialogue. We watch as Martin goes from learning to ride a bike and playing with toys, to coping with a literal storm of paperwork as he struggles to keep up with the daily grind. The silly and fanciful are always front and centre.

With a colourful cast of performers, L.I.A.R. is breath-taking and raucous in its physical comedy. Martin – an acrobat, actor, and comedian – is famous for his unique style of Chinese pole acrobatics and brings his A-game here. He is joined by contortionist and acrobat Mandi Orozco (from Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion) and the exceptional and hilariously awkward trapeze artist Tom Ball.

Canadian folk musician Tarran the Tailor ties the show together, playing guitar, bass, banjo and accordion, with a mix of classical recordings and live medleys in an impressive display of musical talent and commitment.

In L.I.A.R, the performances, music, lighting and staging all come together to provide a brilliant Fringe experience. Martin, like his character, brings adventure, life and charm to his audience, enacting everyone’s greatest dream: to be free.

L.I.A.R: Life is a Rehearsal runs until March 1 in the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

 See more Fringe and Festival stories and reviews here. 

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