Rudy & Cuthbert are two absurdist clowns readying to bump in their courtroom drama production version of 12 Angry Men. Surprised to already find an audience, they soon discover what they thought was a day of rehearsals, is in fact their opening night.
Entering the space to establish themselves into the ‘set’ only to realise the essential courtroom staple:- they are missing a table, plus a diverse troupe of 10 other cast members. This leads to a need for a round of auditions, the disappointment of which convinces the two figures that they themselves will have to perform the show on their own, together.
The show of course is a disaster and leads to a dramatic, (OHS) approved fight that sees the two heroes go their separate ways. However, their shared respect and love for each other and their craft bring them together again into a glorious showcase of how simple life can be.
Described in the Sydney Press as ‘emphatically superb’ and ‘breathtaking in its artistry’, Rudy & Cuthbert are the invention of Toby Blome and Zelman Cressey-Gladwin, recently graduated NIDA actors who found a gift in classic clowning that developed into a sold out Sydney season in 2018.
A new entry to the Australian stage in a long history of clowning partnerships, taking after such greats as Laurel & Hardy and our own Aussie lot, Los Trios Ringbarkus and Lano & Woodley. They largely are a silent pair that expresses themselves through physical comedy, non sequitur, and parody; through subtle facial shifts and absurd mime, with gentle audience interactions of soft, expressive gestures. What saves both of them from complete ‘epistemological ‘collapse in the midst of their own failures is their connection to each other. Like Gilbert & George they are never separated. Rudy needs Cuthbert’s clear head and decisive action and Cuthbert needs Rudy’s manic spontaneity. Together they lead an audience through a catharsis of joy and understanding rooted in a deep human reliance upon each other.
Rudy & Cuthbert are comics without frippery. It will charm you into the best mood you have felt all day.
Photo by Jasmin Simmons
'A crafted, succinct yet varied work ... breathtaking in its artistry.'