Alpha Delta 86, by Kiva Murphy and Filipa Mendes of Can Ducks Fly Theatre, tells the story of a pair of hilarious clown spies employed to rid the world of love.

This show is busy high-energy comedic clown that you can’t help but enjoy. Murphy and Mendez play wonderfully off one another, and even when their interactions with the audience yield something unexpected or unknown, they make it work. These two clowns are the heart of this show without question, and it is worth seeing if only because they are a pleasure to watch.

Photography by Alex Brenner
Photography by Alex Brenner

For all the charm and chemistry of the performers, the show misses an opportunity to engage with the deeper human conflict it points at with its premise. In the world of the clowns, they are employed to exterminate love. All their odd systems of tubes and telephone coordinates that contribute to our amusement at their antics are never called into question or transcended until (perhaps) the very conclusion of the play. As a result, the stakes remain low throughout the piece (did you cheat me out of that biscuit?), even as the characters are drawn unconsciously into conflict with the system in which they work. The problem is that this remains unconscious and unexplored even as the play concludes.

With a little more focus on the script, tightening up some of the more expository bits and focusing the story more on the relationship between the two characters, this show has the potential to be extremely strong. As things stand, its really fun, and carrying a lot of potential for continued development. Plus you might get your hands on a biscuit if you go.

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