Reviewed by Ian Huffam

In a Cold War-esque situation room (complete with large map and ‘pneumatic’ tube), two clowns have to listen in on phone conversations and make reports on the love they observe around them. When they receive intelligence that someone very close to them is infected, they turn on the audience to find him/her – in between bouts of biscuit-eating and baiting each other, that is.

Alpha Delta 86 is a new work and could use a bit of polishing, but it certainly has potential. It’s a clown show but a very different sort of clown from Cardinal, which is showing in the same building. For one, the clowns talk, and much humour derives from audience interaction and reaction on the part of the performers. It’s a little unclear what exactly this show is about until you think about it a little more: anyone who has ever goofed off while they should have been giving their energies to an important task can identify with these clown characters, and even though they bait and tease each other and shift responsibilities as to who is “the boss,” one of the primary qualities of clown is that clowns like everyone. In a dramatic world where love is something they are supposed to be tracking down and reporting, you can probably see a problem coming up for our biscuit-eating heroes.

Photography by Alex Brenner
Photography by Alex Brenner

There’s some audience participation here, and sitting behind the front row will not guarantee your safety (you’ve been warned).

One thing that still puzzles me is the title, and I’m asking myself the same questions about it that I asked myself about the show in general: is it random? Is there deeper meaning to it? Like lots of clown shows, you get out if it what you put in: if you’re willing to participate and be a little silly, then you’ll be satisfied even if your interpretation is different from everyone else’s, or the ‘right’ interpretation. If you enjoy whatever you get out of it, then it’s done its job. Do I understand the title? Not really. Did I enjoy this show? Yes, I did.


Alpha Delta 86


A Can Ducks Fly & Finger in the Pie Theatre production


Created and Performed by Kiva Murphy and Filipa Mendes


At Studio Léonard-Beaulne


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