Tobias Wegner defies gravity to magical effect.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Photograph: Andy Phillipson
Leo at Clurman Theatre
Time Out Ratings<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
Tobias Wegner climbs the walls, literally and enchantingly, in the ingenious Leo, a sustained absurdist stunt in which the laws of gravity seemingly fail to apply. This effect is accomplished via cleverly synchronized staging and video design, and much of the show's charm is in the candor of its magic. On stage left, we see the highly skilled Wegner—a disciplined acrobat who doubles here as a slow-take clown—in person and in the world we know. Meanwhile, in life-size video stage right, Wegner goes through exactly the same motions in a room that, tilted 90 degrees from reality, doesn't seem to give a fig for Newton.
When the video version of Wegner is leaning casually against a wall, for example, the fleshly one is lolling carefully on the floor; when the live Wegner stands up, his counterpart appears to hover horizontally in space. Directed by Daniel Brire and devised by the German company Circle of Eleven (from Wegner's original concept), the wordless Leo is simple in theory yet uncanny in practice. Credit producer Carol Tambor for choosing the show as her annual import from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it played last year. It's an eye-teasing, grin-inducing lesson in the art of seeing double.