Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus
Near-silent comedy produces loud laughs and a warm atmosphere
This article is from 2015.
By the time Trygve Wakenshaw is high-fiving every single audience member as they make their way out of a packed venue, the goodwill within the room is tangible. The prospect of a 90-minute clowning mime show at the beddy-byes end of a long day will test the endurance of even the most committed festival-goer. But with Nautilus (the final part of a watery trilogy launched by 2013’s Squidboy), the New Zealander continues to hit the physical comedy jackpot.
Subverting even the physical image of today’s modern male clown (where’s the beard?), it seems almost pointless to note that Wakenshaw learned much of his trade with Philippe Gaulier (haven’t they all?). That studying comes to the fore right from the off with an opener which would be called ‘So, Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?’ were he ever to be taken with the idea of giving names to his routines.
During the course of 1.5 hours of expertly-performed and largely-silent segments, he transforms into a dozing dinosaur, a goofy bartender, a smarmy stand-up, a cheeky smoker, a put-upon air stewardess, Rapunzel, Aretha Franklin (and later, one of her backing singers) and a furball-producing cat. While a significant number of hour-long shows drag by, Nautilus zips along without you ever checking the time.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 17, 24), 10pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).