Charming and clever, ‘Are You Catching What I’m Throwing?’
Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Like you couldn’t find “your people”? Are You Catching What I’m Throwing is a one man Circus Theatre Show performed by William Alex Larson. The show follows a man as he discovers his passion for juggling. An audience follows him through the highs and lows of this passion and in the bigger picture, the highs and lows of being accepted by society. It’s a story about belonging and finding one’s people; about accepting one’s interests even if some might call them weird or different.
Larson has a charming presence onstage which makes one root for his character from the start. At the show’s beginning, Larson’s character is introduced as he discovers juggling for the first time. We see him trying to start a juggling club, his challenge with making friends, and his struggles performing in front of an audience. Through these hurdles Larson delivers a heartwarming and uplifting story where by the end, it left some audience members with tears in their eyes.
The show shines in its comedy while also telling a touching story. Being a silent performance its humour relies heavily on physical comedy which Larson excels in. He has great comedic timing and his over the top, exaggerated movements had me laughing out loud on many occasions.
I also found it extremely interesting how Larson was able to get the crowd involved without using dialogue. There was one instance towards the end of the performance where he gives each audience member an item and gestures for them to do something with it. This is an extremely important plot point in the story. This made me feel involved in the performance and even a little bad given the context of what Larson had asked an audience to do.
He also uses lighting very well as a way to engage and incorporate the audience. For example, when he is juggling for an audience the lights also shine over the audience whereas when he is practising the light only illuminates himself.
It would be wrong for me to write this review without mentioning the circus aspects of a Circus Theatre Show. The main circus act of the show is, as you probably guessed, juggling. Larson is a master juggler and gives plenty of variety. He goes from juggling balls to pins to juggling rings. This variety helps freshen up the show and is extremely entertaining to watch at such a skilled level.
I also enjoyed the way Larson was able to use a very simple set and props to tell his story. He uses props such as a pylon with a hat to display another person. This helps with understanding the story but, being a silent performance, I did occasionally find myself lost. Larson uses writing to clarify and explain certain aspects of the show which help but there were still moments where I was confused. Having said this, he was always able to bring me back to a place of understanding and by the end of the performance I had a good gist of the story. I do believe that it would have been better on a second viewing given I now know the context. I still thoroughly enjoyed my time and would recommend seeing it.
‘Are You Catching What I’m Throwing’ is suitable for all ages. Its message of belonging will resonate with older viewers while its fantastic physical comedy will entertain kids and adults alike. It plays at the Davis Lounge in the Kingston Grand theatre and is being performed four more times until Sunday August 13th. More details can be found here.