Pedestrian (3 stars)

This article is from 2010


Fishy tale from an engaging performer

Tom Wainwright’s monologue, which he performs with simple but effective animation creates a man haunted by the surreal vision of a giant goldfish. Said Piscean apparition appears in a recurrent dream, while its narrator walks through the shopping precinct of an average British city, and propels him through a hellish world of theatre riots and Tesco customers, who the narrator classifies into such socially specific groups as ‘wankers’, ‘cunts’ and ‘fuckwits’.

Wainwright has an engaging performance style, and there are some very funny and effective moments in a piece which focuses on the political inertia of the white English liberal middle classes. It’s a Marcusean nightmare, this, in which the bespoke affluence of Tesco customers overwhelms their desire to question or act against ills of which they are perfectly well aware. The piece might benefit from a quarter hour’s worth of trimming, with some of the Dali-esque visions feeling a little overindulgent, but there’s wit (including a memorable encounter with the shade of Harold Pinter) and crisp social observation within the package that makes it worth the watch.

Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 29 Aug, 7pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).


  • 3 stars

Brilliant new solo show written and performed by Tom Wainwright. Finely-tuned physical storytelling. Breathtaking animation. A cinematic fishbowl. An epic journey from a neverending pedestrianised shopping precinct to the gates of heaven and back... pursued by a giant fish. Charting Tom’s painful encounters en route with…