Monday, May 11, 2009

‘Man in the Box’ creates uproar at The Dubai Mall

Dubai, UAE; May 11, 2009: Talk about ‘out of the box’ thinking. Manard Flip Flap did some original thinking and decided that being ‘in the box’ was the way to go.

The ‘Man in the Box’ that Manard Flip Flap perfected 15 years ago in Sheffield, England, is now in Dubai, and the advocates of the act are Richard Gillet and Matthew Rose.

And their act is creating an uproar at the Festival@The Dubai Mall. On the face of it, Gillet and Rose are two “eccentric entertainers” who admit that they “like to make idiots out of ourselves.”

But there is more to their act, wherein Rose snuggles into a red box festooned with silver stars, and Gillet leads him around the mall, playing footsie with kids and adults. Rose, in fact, bends over his back to fit into the box.

Rose has been doing the ‘in the box’ act for six years, and Gillet for the last two years. “It’s silly and fun! And I get to play footsie with a lot of people,” says Rose about his choice of the act. Gillet is more matter-of-fact: “It’s a silent act so has no language barriers and can cross all cultures.”

Both are talented artists who do juggling, trapeze, clown acts and street theatre, and they had pursued promising careers earlier before leaving it behind to join the circus. Gillet was a math teacher while Ross was an IT professional. “We did not like what we did,” says Rose. “We hated serious jobs so took a job that made people laugh. Our job is one where you are instantly rewarded, the payback is immediate.”

On the best part of their work, the two say: “First is getting the adults to play with us. Here at The Dubai Mall, the response has been amazing. People just stop and watch and play with us.”

The downside is the physical fatigue: “I keep doing this until my back pains from bending over,” says Ross.

The two have performed around the world including at the Singapore Arts Festival, the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, and in Dubai, thrice already.

The Man in the Box is one of several roaming performances being held in The Dubai Mall as part of the month-long festival. Visitors to the mall stand to win millions of dirhams in prizes in the Win Millions raffles and fabulous shopping deals. They can also take part in the Bid 2 Win auction every weekend and the Grand Bentley raffles.

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