Pierre Novellie is Anxious Peter
An optimistic wander through weird and violent places
This article is from 2015.
Pierre Novellie Is Anxious Peter nominally centres around the eponymous comic’s mental health. It’s a beautifully managed wander through his eating habits, his means of managing insomnia and his distinctly niche study of medieval culture, all serving as a way of trying to understand what, exactly, the world is all about. His answer is satisfyingly disappointing.
Johannesburg-born Novellie is a huge, beaming bear of a man, and it’s easy to get alongside his essentially optimistic reading of a city that is so violent that as a six-year-old, he worried about Santa getting caught on the barbed wire round his house. The show moves almost imperceptibly from ‘here’s why I’m weird’ to ‘here’s why we’re all weird’ and it’s clear from his flawlessly bumbling delivery that not a word is wasted.
While the work on the export of Christianity to Scandinavia was more charming than laugh-a-minute, Novellie still has good reason for the confidence he clearly has in his more niche material. A lot of thought has gone into this work, and it’s hugely rewarding when it pays off. In more down-to-earth matters, his characteristically strange takes on takeaway food and Tinder left genuine pains in the sides.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 9.30pm, £8.50–£10 (£7.50–£9).