Dan Nicholas: Reverb (The Love Story of Terrance the Crocodile and Julia the Mannequin)

It's your classic love story, really: inflatable crocodile meets mannequin head, they fall for each other but soon enough cracks show and they fall apart. Okay, perhaps it's no Gone with the Wind, but Dan Nicholas pulls off the risky venture of a backwards love story pretty damn well.

Nicholas plays a whole host of characters, each more energetic than the last.

Yes, you read correctly: the entire show happens in reverse order. As the audience file in Nicholas thanks them for coming to the show, and the credits roll as the house lights dim. There's a Q&A session with the actors (the deflated crocodile and mannequin head quietly seated at the back of the stage). At first, the premise of moving backwards through the show is stilted but as the narrative progresses – or rather, devolves – Nicholas' carefully planned material comes together in a clever concept.

Nicholas plays a whole host of characters, each more energetic than the last. From a life coach to a misfortune teller, he creates well-contained skits around these personas. Admittedly, they do distract slightly from the overall plot, but Nicholas does not dwell for too long on any of the characters and they provide a nice diversion from the star-crossed lovers Terrence and Julia.

There's a level of absurdity present in the show, and at some points this can work but overall the piece seems a bit muddled by it. In particular I could not really see why the main characters were the props in question. As a love story, Reverb holds up surprisingly well, but the crocodile and mannequin do not offer as much mileage as Nicholas may have first considered. After a few jokes acknowledging the non-human nature of the two protagonists, the novelty deflates a little – not unlike Terrence the crocodile.

Reviews by Louise Jones

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The Blurb

A surreal anti-love story about a blow-up crocodile and a mannequins head, told in reverse. Terrance wants to become a semi-pro ukulele player. But he’s not the only one with dreams. Think Memento meets 500 Days of Summer and you're on the right track. Not a stand-up comedy show. But a stand out comedy show. Nominated for Best Festival Debut in Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2015. 'Someone as inventive as this should have a future in comedy’ (Chortle.co.uk). 'His creativity is remarkable' (BroadwayBaby.com).

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