By Roland Byagaba
Mr Murray Molloy is funny in that crude way only the Irish can pull off. And while we are on his Irish heritage, you should have heard the collective noises of understanding from the audience when he revealed that piece of information about himself. I know how increasingly common the argument for us to have our own identities and distance ourselves from stereotypes is, but one can’t deny that these stereotypes still have a significant say on the type of people we become and how people perceive us. Whereas Molloy jokes a lot, one thing he doesn’t laugh about is how dangerous what he does is, how he spent very many years practising and researching to get it right and why none of us should attempt it because of the potentially fatal consequences.
“Born Of Normal Parents”, written and performed by Molloy, is a fun street show with plenty of theatrics to keep you hooked the entire time. There was a wide enough street outside the building where it could have taken place and stayed true to form but, instead, we got to enjoy it from the cozy setting that is The Square terrace. Great choice too considering I didn’t see a bar on the street outside and yet The Square terrace has a fully stocked one.
Murray starts off by engaging the crowd and basically instructing us on how to cheer him on. His mischevious tone ensures this part doesn’t end up sounding patronising and livens up the crowd. Next up, he brings out a whip and starts cracking it. I’m slightly triggered by this because of the kiboko I got while growing up for being a very naughty kid. The other audience members seemed to have been good kids while growing up because I don’t notice anyone else flinching like me. No one is hurt during this part except, if my eyes weren’t lying to me, the whip might have made impact with Mr Molloy’s bare skin when he was attempting one particularly complicated looking stunt. If it did, he hid that properly and continued with the show.
Next up, we are introduced to a pink toilet seat which Molloy proceeds to squeeze his frame through. Why he chose this particular stunt and how the original thought crossed his mind, these are matters for him to discuss with whoever he prays to. Again, what increases the enjoyment of this is the constant dirty humour (which is apt considering his choice of prop) that accompanies the act. When he is done, we heartily cheer because we now know how to escape in case we ever find ourselves stuck inside a toilet bowl that has the seat glued on.
Finally, he proceeds to the main act were he swallows a sword before balancing a burning bar on the sword handle and spins it while he himself turns 360 degrees. I doubt I can do this act descriptive justice here. You needed to have been there to witness it yourself. Sadly for you, if you missed it, it was only being shown the one time. Some audience members were unable to look as the sword disappeared down Molloy’s throat because of how unnatural it looks. I, on the other hand, couldn’t take my eyes away. I need to contain this morbid fascination I have with all things dangerous before I end up attempting practicals to create some stunts of my own
After watching this production, I was left wondering if the title is a disclaimer to distance the parents from the career Mr Molloy has chosen. That they didn’t drop him on his head while he was growing up. I wonder if they are proud of his career choice. I figure if he had Ugandan/African parents, they would have disowned him by now. Mbu I paid all that fees so you could squeeze through a toilet seat? Msccheewww!
Photo by James Wasswa