JANUS at the Lourdeskerk in Scheveningen

I have to admit that tonight was a first for me, maybe I should get out more. I had the dubious honour of watching a naked man juggling with a hat – in a church. Ummm yes, that’s what I thought.

The man in question was Michael Zandl, an Austrian graduate of the Codarts Circus Arts school in Rotterdam and the hat in question was only the first of many in his, effectively, one man show.

Rather Kafkaesque in nature Janus started with Mr Zandl falling out of a wooden cupboard, in the aforementioned state of undress, attached to the piece of furniture by an umbilical cord which he promptly cut with a pair of scissors. Don’t ask where he kept them, because I can’t remember.

He finds himself alone in a dark room with only a table, a chair and a hat stand, oh, and the mysterious and rather threatening cupboard.

He then acquires a collection of shop-counter bells which every time he pings, something drops from above. By this time, luckily for all but the keenest voyeur, he was sitting behind a table and soon a parcel of clothes dropped and he got dressed. At the ping from one of the mounting number of bells, each of which had a different function, more hats fell from above along with walking sticks and packets of what appeared to be breakfast cereal, which seemed to constitute his entire diet.

A lot of his energy was directed at catching and swatting an errant fly which buzzed invisibly around the room. As the hats multiplied one of them, we discovered had a life of its own and scurried around the floor like a pet mouse, gratefully munching on the cornflakes it was fed.

This was an accomplished and original one man show with some virtuoso juggling and high precision dropping.    Michael Hasted   1st March 2020