Three Weeks, August 2006
I've tried, and I'm certain that there's no real way to convey in words just how fantastic this show is. To describe it as 'entertaining' wouldn't do it justice. Following two years of sell out shows at the fringe, Gamarjobat are back, in a bigger venue, with a show so marvellous that I'm seriously considering going again tomorrow. Without a word they perform tricks, tell stories and mess with the audience. Fantastically, their show appeals to all ages, as I believe you'd have to be made of stone not to laugh at their silly slapstick. Now stop reading and go buy yourself a ticket, because I guarantee you, this one's going to sell out.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 2 - 28 Aug (not 3, 15, 22), 5:00pm (6:00pm), prices vary
The Scotsman, August 2004
Duo mime a rich seam of comic gold
THIS is a show to fall in love with. Gamarjobat is irresistibly, endearingly funny and undoubtedly the most skilled and clever comedy in Edinburgh.
It is unique, in that it will appeal to anyone and everyone who goes to see it. That aside, it has no boundaries - and it has no words.
I hesitate to use the "M" word to describe Gamarjobat- this show and these performers transcend anything I, for one, think of as "mime". I have never seen a show that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, regardless of age, sex, colour, or ideological leanings - until now.
In their introductory section, the breathtakingly talented double act revisit some of the highlights of their street theatre show-by far the best thing to happen around the Royal Mile since the Witchery restaurant opened.
It is impossible not to dissolve into laughter while they take the tired arts of clowning, cod magic and classic mime and give them back their mojo. If these guys were powdered, they'd be illegal.
Then there is a wonderful, Rocky-inspired tale of a boxer going from a transfixing slo-mo KO through bar-room brawls and hilarious training regime to champion of the world, and from loneliness to love via a captivating, fantastically inventive series of achingly funny dates. What you realise in this section is that the boys can be impressive actors on top of everything else.
They are so warm you could grill yakitori on them. Ketch! is the one with the red crest, Hiropon sports the sunshine yellow version: together they are the personification of the double helix of comedy's DNA.
And that's to say nothing of the fact that Hiropon makes the most sweetly adorable girl any Japanese parents could wish for. Let them take your inner child out to play.
The Pleasure is All Mime
Festival Metro, August 2004
One of the pleasing inconsistencies of the Fringe is the disparity between the many non English-speaking punters and the number of shows they'd actually be able to understand. (Beckett. say, can be tricky enough with English as a first language.) In the past few years though, this has begun to shift and Gamarjobat is a prime example.
This show, by two young Japanese guys whose haircuts wouldn't be out of place in some faux-trendy Hoxton bar (though we'll not hold that against them), is a wordless comedy that mines slapstick silent cinema, contemporary mime, acrobatics and makes merry with ideas of cultural difference.
Both Ketch (red mohican) and Hiropon have studied mime and various clown skills for more than a decade -and it shows as they arc through the air and engage in dextrous double-act routines with an almost telepathic intensity. It's rollercoaster stuff, mostly, with sight gags and pranks leavening the more serious moments, nearly all of which are played with a beautiful understatement. It's an odd thing to witness, initially; the lack of verbal language might seem like a barrier to understanding at first. Slowly, it's clear that what Gamarjobat is attempting is something more transcendent: A tone poem of movement and grace, which they mostly succeed in communicating, common language or not.
GamarjobatThe Guardian, August 2004
The first 10 minutes of Gamarjobat are a physical comedy masterclass. Like a Japanese Men in Coats, this double act (their names are Ketch and Hiropon) have made vaudevillian silent comedy their own. There's the routine with the stationary suitcase; there's business with disappearing thumbs and stretched limbs. There are doctored props, and a waist-high screen behind which the pair glide up and down as if on escalators.
I could happily have handled an hour of this shtick. But they have other plans: the rest of the show recasts the boxing movie Rocky as a silent comedy. And thoroughly enjoyably too. In one sequence, the gruff trainer puts the rookie through their paces. Another spoofs the cine-collage in which a boxer gets a few early victories under his belt.
The pair's skills are never as dazzling again as in the overture: the mime isn't always clear, and the boxing gets repetitive. But there's always a winning gag around the corner. It's great to see classic silent comedy skills applied to storytelling, especially by such endearing performers. If their show isn't quite a knockout, it wins on points.