Ctibor Turba

Review in Issue 10-1 | Spring 1998

In his book Mimes on Miming, Turba compares himself to Buster Keaton and the central conceit of this show, in which the dungareed, droopy-moustached Turba veers between performing on stage and on video, is similar to Keaton’s in Sherlock Junior.

Turba plays the naive technician for Jiri Stivin’s wonderfully eccentric jazz improvisations, coaxing sounds from a variety of unlikely objects. The humour is gently silly. For example, Turba fuses all the stage lights and as he exits we see a dead mouse in a wheel on video. Then he is in the video, replacing the dead mouse with a live one. He reappears on stage holding a dead mouse. The show is composed of similar sketches, both live and on video. In one brief sequence he discovers a reel of film which he distributes amongst the audience to watch; and on video he saves a drowning man who is so irritatingly effusive in his thanks that he throws him back.

Turba is a superb clown, at one point literally playing his body as a musical instrument in a marvellously sustained and imaginative sketch. Moving between live action and video is good fun (although these were amateurishly filmed), but the disparate strands didn’t gel and the whole show felt like old sketches played without passion. A final image on video of Turba being led from the theatre in a strait-jacket after the performance seemed completely incongruous for this gently appealing, curate’s egg of a show.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Dec 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-1
p. 23