A music-free, prop-light exploration of space
This article is from 2015.
Though they wear their literary and sci-fi references with pride, you don't need to have read Moby Dick or seen a heap of sci-fi to enjoy this magical show from Seattle-based duo, Charles. The sketch pair have reworked Herman Melville's 1851 novel and set the classic sea tale about the obsessive pursuit of a whale deep in space.
According to the old Gregorian calendar, the year is 2984 and Captain Ahab has lost his leg (it’s been replaced by a better one but that's not the point) to an energy cloud called Moby Alpha and he's hell-bent on revenge. Ishmael is a wet-behind-the-ears newbie crew member irritating his Martian mate Queequeg who's fed up of being asked if he eats humans.
Simply yet incredibly presented by the two players in space suits, pretty much the only lighting for the show is that which illuminates their helmets, changing colour to transform scene or character. It's a wonderful device. The production is a witty, postmodern take on the story but there is just one element lacking: the pair provide their own sound effects to great success but a subtle use of music would create further atmosphere (sorry), an effect that could have completed this delightful show.
Assembly George Square Studios, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 17, 24), 4.10pm, £10–£12 (£8–£10).