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Manga: The Body Tights Man 

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Cara Sandys

For anyone who remembers the Tokyo Shock Boys, these three Japanese comics could ring a few bells. However far from shocking, these fabulous performers are out to have fun. The show is full of creative silliness from start to finish. Emerging on stage in full lycra body suits (comedy in itself) they then proceed to act out various tricks and games, getting the audience to participate at any opportunity. With cardboard boxes on their heads they parade into the auditorium, asking audience members to push the buttons and pull the tabs on the box fronts, which results in exploding party poppers, a shower of bells and various sight gags. Like tipsy students they blow straws "long distance" across the floor attempting to hit small targets on the performers heads on stage. The crowd goes wild when an audience member manages to propel the straw on a curved trajectory, finally hitting the target.

Another highlight is the silly game of catching a falling paper tissue with enormous oversize chopsticks. The tissue is torn in half this making the object harder to catch as it floats back and forth as it falls. One wit in the audience shouts out "long distance", with the result that he gets hauled onstage to play the game of transferring balls from one bowl to another, again with the oversize chopsticks, a feat which he manages to carry out with enough dexterity to beat the Japanese performer. Again, the crowd love it!

But without any doubt, the most memorable skit, somewhat reminiscent of Ennio Marchetto and his paper costumes, was a performance played to classical music of various famous paintings like the Mona Lisa, and The Scream where the mouths of the pictures had been removed and replaced with the performers lips. This took a turn with hilarious consequences when the next pictures were cartoons of huge, fat backsides where the mouths replaced....well, you get the idea! The sight of wriggling tongues emerging from holes reduced some audience members to tears.

Interspersed with photos of Tokyo cultural attractions, while the performers changed costumes, this was an introduction to a side of Japanese culture many visitors wouldn't get to see and proof that juvenile silliness is still a great source of humour and one way to break down barriers between nations.

Review date: 30 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Cara Sandys

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