Pelican: 'It gives us the opportunity to play around and wear really tight costumes'
- Craig Angus
- 2 August 2018
This article is from 2018
Ahead of their new Fringe show, the sketch trio talk tennis, friendship and Garth Marenghi
There was something incredibly endearing about the way the three members of Pelican enjoyed themselves on stage during last year's Edinburgh Fringe. The Cat Man Curse, their debut show, took a straightforward mystery narrative and – through sketch, dance and physical comedy – twisted it inside out, extracting every last ounce of silliness from the story.
It's no surprise to hear that those Pelicans have known each other for a while (having met at Cambridge University), so natural is their chemistry. The three, Jordan Mitchell, Sam Grabiner and Guy Emanuel, answer email questions as a collective entity too, hammering that bond home. 'We all lived next door to each other in our first year and became friends really quickly,' they say. 'Our friendship and our falling in love with comedy all sort of happened at one and the same time.'
The group honed their skill in Footlights, following in the footsteps of some bona fide comedy legends (Idle, Cleese, Laurie et al), plus recent Edinburgh successes Sheeps and Daphne, and going a little further back, Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade. The influence of the latter duo's cult classic Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, looms strong. 'Those guys and The Mighty Boosh are a big influence. We love the way they use their aesthetic to comic effect and you can always rely on them for a funny voice. We usually try to give our shows a cartoonish feel, with very simple plotlines, big characters and stupid, visual jokes.'
Their 2018 show, Fisk, follows the template they nailed last time out. 'Fisk tells the story of the world's greatest tennis player as he avenges the mysterious death of his doubles partner. The deeper he digs, the darker it gets, and he soon realises that the very future of tennis may be in danger.' And if you're worried about a lack of Wimbledon knowledge holding you back, don't be. 'We don't really like tennis', they stress. 'It's basically a madcap narrative show that gives us the opportunity to play around with an audience and wear really tight costumes … '
Pelican: Fisk, Bedlam Theatre, 1–27 August