Created, directed and performed by Mexican mime artist and clown Gabriela Muñoz, Perhaps Perhaps Quizás premiered in New York in 2010, and has since been performed around the world at various clown festivals. Winner of the Best of Fringe and Outstanding Performer at the 2016 New Zealand Fringe Festival, Muñoz brings her story to the Omnitorium in Edinburgh, a clandestine carnival tent beside the Assembly George Square Theatre.
Perhaps Perhaps Quizás toys with the idea of loneliness, hope, jealousy, and the longing for true romance in a digital era where human connection seems more elusive than ever. A lonely woman named Greta rehearses for the arrival of her ‘Mr. Right’ – will she get lucky tonight? Perhaps.
Unopened envelopes envelop one another in a slovenly fashion, piled at the foot of a sofa covered by a floral quilt. The furniture is mismatched – two odd chairs sit at a table shrouded in a cotton doily, and plastic grapes glint against a bouquet of flowers in a toilet roll vase. A garish orange dress and faux fur stole hang on a coat stand, made bright by the dull canvas of red velvet drapes that frame the stage.
As Greta, Muñoz emerges in an explosion of operatic music, face painted white and lips rouged. She eats strawberries from a miniature china plate, and is dressed in a stained wedding gown. Peculiar noises burst from her mouth, one kohl eyebrow raised, knitting her face into a sad yet disapproving expression. Her tinny voice and use of gesture cause uncontrollable fits of laughter among members of the audience, who, subject to her hungry eyes, become a lottery of potential lovers. The act of marriage and lawful companionship excite her, and soon, toilet tissues become a bow tie and a clerical collar for her hand-picked suitor and officiant. Another is brought to the stage to hold her veil and act as a witness to the wedding, and the ceremony is conducted by Muñoz. She has the audience in the palm of her hand, and guides them expertly through humour and pathos. When inevitably her newly-wed cannot stay, a vulnerability rises to the surface, and tears spill from each eye. Holding close this mildly revolting world that she cannot escape, heartache spreads, and her once-hilarious gibbering becomes so much more.
In addition, Perhaps Perhaps Quizás is a beautiful reaction to the recent terror attacks across the globe. “Love prevails” says Muñoz as she sheds her clowning skin, and she is right, above all else love will succeed. It has to.
Perhaps Perhaps Quizás is playing at Assembly George Square Theatre until August 28. For more information and tickets, see www.tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Perhaps%20Perhaps%20Quizás%22