Proving that even the undead have style...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jean-Paul Mullét


No blog about Toronto's wildly varied afterlife would be complete without mention of Jean-Paul Mullét, aka Mullet the Clown.

Poster photo by Paul Fegan, Art by Kam Gates & Jorge Mij, Design by Allan Turner.

I had the good fortune of catching the opening night of Mullet's Make-a-Play at the Toronto Fringe Festival and really must recommend this show to anyone whose interests intersect in the ever-widening circles of zombie fandom, comedy, theatre, clowning, or even circus arts.

Mullet bills himself as a Zombie Clown, but he's no two-note brainseeker. He's complex... so much so that the more I read into his act, the more what's left of my head hurts.

Watching the show, my first impression is that he knows the classics, for he's embodying choice elements of roles and archetypes from across the history of the clownly art. Beyond the basic poles of Joey & Auguste, straight man and anarchist, there's a dash of Scaramouche Jones tragedy, a hint of Emo Phillips inflection, a sprinkle of tramp... or is it moss?

Hell, I came here just to laugh. But the Make-a-Play is equal parts tragic and comic, guilelessly innocent then darkly forceful. Demon beating is involved. Improv comics are abused. (I enjoy this part more than I should. Sorry, comedians.) There are tales of young clowns lost in the wilderness. Random choirs. Monologues with dinosaurs. It's different every night. It's unpredictable, a lot of it is spontaneous and unguarded, and as such you can't prepare yourself for it.

One thing is clear... whereas zombies just want your brains, Mullet wants your heart too.

Photo by Michael Wong

You can find more about Mullet at Tickets for his Make-a-Play are available at the Fringe Box Office, online here, or by calling 416-966-1062. "Day of" tickets ($10) go on sale at the Theatre Passe Muraille an hour before each performance.

1 comment:

  1. Are you still a Mullet fan? He runs a monthly show called "Mullet's Night Show" every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Social Capital Theatre in Toronto, near Danforth and Broadview. He's also active on Facebook and twitter, just look up his name :)