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YŌKAI Remedy for Despair

Created and Performed by The Krumple

Off Off Broadway, Physical Theatre
Runs through 9.24.17
The Tank, 312 West 36th Street


by Keith Paul Medelis on 9.19.17

HamiltonThe company of YŌKAI Remedy for Despair.

Clown for the sake of easing your grief with The Krumple's YŌKAI Remedy for Despair.

It’s the subtitle of YŌKAI that brought me in. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been metaphorically wearing black every day for almost a year now. New Yorkers: we are in this together. And it’s going to take this European band of devised performers to tell us that it is all going to be okay. I’m more than happy to welcome the Oslo and Paris-based Krumple to our country in despair, in need of remedy.

With barely any words spoken, The Krumple conjures vignettes of people in, you guessed it, despair: a car accident, a suicidal lonely person on Christmas, and, more bizzarely, a man who is ice fishing and the fish instead gets stuck on his head. He becomes a kind of walking fish person for the remainder of the show. All of this plays out with some pretty awesome clown work that’s expressive, silly, and emotionally gripping all at once. How quickly a masking tape line can become a highway for a speeding toy car with just the right commitment.

In a more absurd moment, one of the final characters we meet is in mourning over a death. Through his tears, he seems to provide enough water to grow a small tree out of his ear. It’s at first a small branch that’s a nuisance. He tries everything to pry it from his ear but it will not budge. The tree grows larger and larger but it’s through this struggle that he gains a true love and maybe even an understanding of the world he could not have imagined. I spoil very little here because the plot is only a small portion of what makes YŌKAI so enjoyable.

For simple magic and some profound laughs: visit the Tank at their new space on 36th Street. Don’t despair.

(YŌKAI Remedy for Despair plays at the Tank, 312 West 36th Street, through Sunday, August 24. Performances are Wednesdays though Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 3. Tickets are $15-$35 and are available at


YŌKAI Remedy for Despair is created and performed by The Krumple. Lighting Design is by Houcine Pradinaud. Production Stage Manager is Kelly Hartnett.

The cast is Jo Even Bjørke, Louisa Hollway, Vanessa Mecke, Oda Kirkebø Nyfløtt, Léna Rondé, David Tholander, and Vincent Vernerie.