When I asked Fringe participant and enthusiast Ryan Sero which show he was definitely not going to miss, he responded, "Guruguru; the guy came all the way from Spain."
So I went.
Guruguru is billed as a comedy, and there are very funny moments, but it's more of an experience. It's a one-man show and the writer, Andres Tuells, also performs as Guruguru, each other's alter ego, it would seem.
Tuells is 6'10" and I kept staring at his massive hands. As Guruguru, he endeavours to make himself physically repulsive with poorly applied white face paint and ill-fitting clothes, scarcely able to contain a hump Quasimodo would gawk at with mouth open.
Before seeing Guruguru, we hear him, asking over and over, "Where is happiness? Where is happiness? Where is happiness?" Then, he appears and we gasp. Then, he goes straight into the audience where Guruguru makes people laugh and uncomfortable.
Although he puts his own unique spin on the genre, Tuells employs buffoonery, a type of clowning, which is intentionally mocking and mean, at times. Since the performance, I've visited Guruguru's website, listened to an interview available online, and read (a little) about buffoonery. Buffoons want you to be uncomfortable.
The show is a buffoon's perspective on the modern pursuit of happiness; buying stuff. The performance begins, therefore, with an imaginary trip to Ikea. Guruguru see a bookshelf he loves and, before you know it, he's having a quickie with Swedish furniture. It is, for sure, disquieting to see a mammoth monster, we'd only just met, wail like Chewbacca as he dry-humps a prop.
Guruguru spends a lot of the show in the audience and it isn't just chit chat; he touches faces and hair, he rubs shoulders, hugs, holds hands, sniffs, sits upon.... Again, within the safe, fun environment of a Fringe show, it made people uncomfortable. I was squirming.
In the end, Guruguru finds true happiness and everybody laughs together, richer for the experience.
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