Tom Neenan: Attenborough
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 August 2017
Laughs and drama-filled sort-of biopic of a national treasure
It's not clear whether David Attenborough will be heading to the Med Quad to see what Tom Neenan has done with his story, but there's cause to suggest he might not immediately recognise himself. Neenan has opted to dress his explorer in a smart khaki safari suit rather than the open-necked shirt and casual trousers look we more readily associate with him, and he quickly abandons the use of Attenborough's whispering tones to just talk as his actorly self, which provides plenty drama and tension itself.
Cleary having just as much fun as his audience, Neenan takes the Attenborough story back to the time he was struggling to make a name for himself at the BBC. His big break could be just around the corner when he's sent off to track down the Yeti, but is eventually presented with a moral dilemma which could preserve his integrity and end his dreams or keep his career on track while saddling him with a lifetime of guilt.
Neenan hops and bobs around his stage with enthusiasm, introducing other characters and working hard for his laughs; he gets them both within the story and in the outer regions of his PowerPoint display which throws out visual gags by the dozen. One particular nugget features the sighting of animal faeces which initially looks like it will be glossed over before Neenan provides screeds of evidence that he's poo-obsessed. The laughs which arrive on the back of it suggests he's not alone.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 27 Aug, 3.55pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).