If you're not distracted by the beauty of his well groomed legs you will be entranced by Mr Lola Illusions whimsical stories and expressive facials. With a lift of an eyebrow, a cheeky wink, or a saucy pout of his favourite red lips, his face gives away the truth behind a cleverly constructed story. Storytelling through song Ian Harman captures his audience in a rousing joy filled exhibition of youth and Joie de Vivre. Lights, music, dance and boyish charm sets a happy scene for all.
As usual for a show arranged by Ian the stage set neither takes over or fades away and magical tricks of light expertly guide the changes of scene and emotion. It was bright and quirky and yet minimal and well used to illustrate the movements from joy in the lights to sorrow in the shadows. It's a joyous riot of bawdy cabaret all wrapped up in high class sequins, makeup and heels.
Although this is a one man show Ian's face seemingly plays another role and upstages his well constructed costume. Conveying the journey from rebellious, over zealous, and love drunk to worn out, down on his luck, heartbroken, and spent, Lola's face is a direct link to his over worked heart. Travelling through all his highs and lows, Lola is kind to the audience and helps to keep things light by interspersing the heavier scenes with delightful magic shows that turn his audience into oohing and ahhing children. A heart rending mime scene was an amazing illusion that touched hearts drawing out some 'awwws' from a captive audience. It was a brilliant touch carried out with utter charm and vulnerability.
Lola had us all eating out of his hand and we all liked what we were digesting. He loves to play and is full of mischief which is perfectly captured in his cheeky magic shows. But Lola is an entertainer, and he always shows the best of himself giving us the illusion that his life is simply a happy song and dance. When the lights are off Lola is left kicking his heart back home through streets of bitter disappointment.
Mr Lola Illusion is fun, sad, magic and marvellous. Ian Harman makes it all happen in full colour, expertly guiding his audience through the entire experience. Short and delightful just like Lola, this show will enchant you.
Catch it at Bats Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington till the 19th of February
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