Tom Neenan: The Andromeda Paradox
A one-man travelogue into sci-fi’s complex corners
This article is from 2015.
Previously one half of the Gentlemen of Leisure alongside Nish Kumar, Tom Neenan exercised his love of spooky comedy with The Haunting of Lopham House last year. For 2015, he’s dipped ostensibly into sci-fi for a thoroughly enjoyable romp about a boffin son (Bernard Andromeda) escaping his pioneering father’s lengthy shadow, showing off his storytelling abilities allied to an impressive display of character performance. This being a comedy, he is able to craft plenty lines that keep the mirth bobbing along while the story attempts to keep up.
The problem lies fundamentally with this kind of one-man, multi-character show: the audience really has to work exceptionally hard in order to keep caring and staying focussed when so much is being packed in through just one visual (and über-tweedy) source. Among the beings laid before us are Bernard’s vaguely smitten assistant, a German botanist, a slightly mad Scotsman (‘fraid so) and a cute hand-alien who pretty much steals the show.
Neenan enjoyably embodies his many characters but you do wonder how different this might have been had he harnessed his writing skills into an ensemble work in the vein of last year’s Mr Swallow’s Dracula or a forerunner of this kind of Fringe art such as Garth Marenghi’s Perrier-winning Netherhead.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 6.40pm, £8–£10 (£7–£9).