Paul Bourke, an intriguing interactive mime artist, who extends himself across genres as the ghoulish clown Vladimir The Crow.
Paul Bourke’s Vladimir is a combination of unique vocal talents, quirky quietly spoken commentary, and sound effects that rival any leg-dragging zombie movie.
The short, sweet, left-of-centre show incorporates audience participation and clever improvisation. The silly slapstick humour quickly engulfed the willing audience as Vladimir transforms from the crow back to the hack magician/conjurer.
The fifty-minute skit filled the room with snide giggles that turned into roars of laughter. Vladimir encourages the audience to indulge him in his inhuman creation, to help him build his imaginary son in the underworld.
The complex scenario gathered momentum and Vladimir facilitated a chorus from the audience of haunting “woos”, “aaahs”, and “growling”, leaving the audience in fits of laughter. The hilarity continued when Vladimir mimed the extraction of each audience member’s brain and the elaborate creation of a Frankenstein-esque human from the collective brains.
Bourke is a master of improvisation and utilised the organically evolving plot, including The Melba Studio creaky floorboards for extra laughs.
The lighting and background sound effects enhanced the dark depths of Vladimir’s underworld and character, which can best be described as a cross between Gollum from Lord of the Rings and Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice.
Paul Bourke warns his world may induce nightmares, especially the little boy on his knees rocking back and forth, singing a creepy version of the childhood finger-play rhyme, Itsy Bitsy Spider.
If you like playing a game of family charades, not knowing where the journey is going and laughing along the way, go see Vladimir The Crow for all its fabulous silliness.