||"One of the
great and unique performers of our time of any old time
do hate to call it "clowning" when in fact hes
no more clown than Chaplin, Keaton, Harpo Marx or Danny Kaye
HOYLE raises clowning to new heights, achieving a nongravitational
state of airborne brilliance, reinventing, refining, and blending
mimicry, mime and monologue, maybe magic, so seamlessly devised."
San Francisco Chronicle
27 years after arriving in the U.S. from England, Geoff Hoyle has
made his mark in the worlds of theatre and circus. Based in the
San Francisco Bay Area he began performing with the Pickle Family
Circus, clowned with Cirque du Soleil and Circus Flora. He has performed
his award-winning solo shows "Feast of Fools" and "The
Convicts Return" (commissioned by Berkeley Rep) in New
York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Russia and at various regional
theatres in the U.S. and England. He created the role of Zazu (Drama
Desk Nomination: Best Featured Actor in a Musical) in the original
Broadway cast of the Tony Award winning musical "The Lion King".
Working in classic commedia fashion, the
clown Geoff Hoyle and his "midwife" -- as the director Tony Taccone
dubs himself -- give birth to antic entertainments that are hard
to categorize. "I would call it clown ballet," says Taccone, the
artistic director of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where the duo's
latest opus, The First Hundred Years, was produced.
Dedicated to raising circus arts to just
plain art, they were in the vanguard of the new vaudeville movement.
Subsequently Taccone started Hoyle's legit career when he cast him
in a Dario Fo farce.
The First Hundred Years promises darker
shades of hilarity than Boomer! and Geni(us), two previous original
creations. The premise is that an aging clown has made his home
in a condemned theater, surrounded by the detritus of his life.
Refusing to be evicted, he resists with all his might even as his
theater begins to be razed. Taccone sees Beckettian overtones: "It's
a little like Buster Keaton meets Krapp's Last Tape."
Film and television appearances include Joyce
Chopra's "Smooth Talk" and Robert Altman's "Popeye."