Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Bob brings some nonsense

Adam Johnson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 14/06) - Theatre-goers took in a night of high flyin' comedy perched at the edge of disaster last weekend.

Flyin' Bob brought his one-man, three-ring circus to the Northern Arts and Cultural for two nights of "Articulate Nonsense," the realm of a self-described "professional idiot."

NNSL Photo/graphic

Flyin' Bob (aided by special volunteer Jackie Diveley-Wells) performs at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre on April 7. - Adam Johnson/NNSL photo

Also known as Bob Palmer, he brought a little something for everyone in his show, which featured juggling, high-wire work and balancing acts - all loaded with amusing banter.

The act was unique in that the outcome was not always certain, adding a degree of tension and suspense to every big trick.

Put simply, Bob was willing to screw up.

"It means I'm pushing myself to the limit of my abilities," he said with a laugh on his third try of a coin-catching trick.

"Enough of this skill stuff," he said afterwards to an appreciative crowd, "Do you want to see something stupid?"

Audience participation was a large part of the show, as Bob dug into the crowd again and again for hapless volunteers.

One lucky helper was Jackie Diveley-Wells, 8, who assisted Bob as he juggled five balls with a glass of pop balanced on his chin.

Soon afterwards, Jackie became the star of the show, standing on Bob's shoulders and juggling a little herself.

"I wonder why he put that pop on his head," she said after the show. "I don't like pop at all."

After the show, which concluded with an (intentionally) near-disastrous high wire act, Bob said he was in Yellowknife for a two-day stretch between weeks of work with circus camps around western Canada. He said the one-week camps taught "unique" skills and self-esteem to at-risk youth. However, Bob seemed unfazed by his hectic travelling itinerary.

"If I didn't do this, I'd have to get a real job," he said. "And we don't want that, do we?"