Arriving at a packed-out Pleasance audience, I have never felt an energy quite like when I walked into Stamptown. There was a clear air of anticipation, with unknowing audience members and eager returners all unaware of what they were about to witness due to the show’s variety ‘different every night’ foundations.
Zack Zucker, performing under his failed New Yorker comedian alter ego ‘Jack Tucker’ was the perfect host for this untamed explosion of creativity. Having trained at the world’s leading clown school, Gaullier, Zucker marries impeccably timed physical comedy with consistent callback and audience interaction that had the audience in the palm of his hand for the whole show, as was indicated by his ‘laugh metal detector’ segment that detected the infectious and unwavering enthusiasm of the audience. By the end of the show, the audience is left mentally exhausted but begging to come back for more – and as a show that has a new lineup every night, they can, potentially one of the reasons for its consistent sellout success.
The show starts with the hilariously talented Dylan Woodley and his two morph-suited-up backing dancers building audience hype by creating mayhem dancing to ‘ridin solo’, an audience favourite recurring segment that rocketed audience energy during any potential dips. Aside from Zucker, other highlights of the night included Marshall Arkley, whose fire-breathing strip tease set the tone for what was going to be a daringly raunchy show.
It was clear the audience responded better to the more dynamic acts as there were noticeable energy dips during the guest standup sections, often distracted by the constant stimulation of ‘stagehands’ running across the stage, Zack lurking in the corner and (to the audiences delight) a vampire in cape running around the auditorium. These constant interjections and audience interactions, create a world of constant stimulation which at no point the show tries to avoid, giving it its unique high-energy charm that truly feels like a party we’re all invited to. It is fair to say Stamptown is a show meant to be enjoyed not rationalised or understood, but in doing so the performers slowly breathe new life into the art of clowning, bringing it to a hungry, fresh audience.
Stamptown continues to shock and amaze audiences all over the world, reinventing what it means to be a clown. Led by their wickedly masterful ringleader Zack Zucker, go and see Stamptown for a once-in-a-lifetime comedy circus like you’ve never seen before.
Stamptown is running on the 18-19, 24-26 August at The Pleasance Courtyard at 23:00