Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and The Hippo That Can Never Be Caught
- Thom Dibdin
- 15 August 2017
This article is from 2017.
Playful tale of the hippo-loving Dr Zeiffal with humour for all ages
Splendidly silly and packed with transparent nonsense – delivered with great solemnity and import by Dr Zeiffal – this is a show which knows the importance of fun and the power of irony.
Dr Zeiffal, a special archaeological hippo expert enthusiast, according to her own admission, and of indeterminate middle-European extraction by that of her accent, is on the hunt for the native hippos which have been sighted in the 'United K'. And most excited she is about it too, as she introduces her special lecture on the subject, complete with devices for the calming and controlling of said hippos, once found.
Her assistant Dr Zeigal, however, is nowhere to be seen – to the point where you begin to wonder if his existence is as much a figment of her imagination as the native British hippo.
Georgia Murphy is great value as Zeiffal, playing it completely straight for her target audience of 3 to 8-year-olds and never resorting to a knowing wink for the parents, who have plenty to chew on in the dryly funny script at any rate. She has the blind enthusiasm down pat, which is great for getting the young audience on side, although she is sometimes so far into character as to choke her interaction with them when the clever choice would be to hold back.
Using the most basic design and props, this is a reminder of how much you can do with pure invention and a playful attitude.
Assembly Roxy, until 28 Aug (not 22), 10.15am, £7–£8.