Goggles is a simple, quirky and deeply endearing devised piece in which comedy double-act ThisEgg explore the complexities of love and friendship through that most profoundly allegorical of animals: the goldfish. The untimely death of their beloved fish prompts performers Gemma Barnett and Josie Dale-Jones to examine their own relationship and wonder whether they could ever share the affection and intimacy that their aquatic counterparts seem to feel for each other.

Animated and pleasantly weird.

Gemma and Josie have been best friends since school, where they were bound together by their common social isolation. When they become adults and begin sharing a flat, the pair celebrate by buying two goldfish who serve as an ongoing symbol of both closeness and imprisonment. Gemma begins finds herself increasingly constricted by her life with Josie - always the more clinging of the pair - and begins to rebel against the confines of their relationship. The drama of Josie and Gemma negotiating the balance between intimacy and independence is interspersed with scenes of Sunny and Boo (played by the two actors) mulling through their own parallel problems as they float in the blue-lit glow of their tank.

These emotional themes are light-heartedly dealt with in the duo’s wacky comic style as they cheerfully address the audience, bicker with each other and recreate scenes from their past. The exaggeratedly awkward and self-conscious style of their performance can seem strange at first, but you quickly settle into it and laugh more freely. The pair operate as a classic double-act, with Gemma’s laconic, deadpan style serving as the foil to Josie’s energetic cheerfulness. Most of the show is addressed to the audience and the performers frequently break the fourth wall, chatting to the lighting operator and comically prompting each other.

Goggles isn’t necessarily a show which aspires to be deeply profound or iconoclastic, but it’s animated and pleasantly weird. This is a successful, well-rehearsed piece of laugh-out-loud theatre, and you’ll leave the show with a warm, smiley feeling. 

Reviews by Nuri Syed Corser

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Assembly George Square Theatre

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The Blurb

Gemma and Josie had pet fish, Sunny and Boo. But now they are dead. Goggles is an attempt to give them the happy ending they deserved. As they remember watching their fish live harmoniously in a bowl, Gemma and Josie wonder if they love each other as much as Sunny and Boo had loved each other. They wonder if they love each other equally. A quirky comedy about two people trying to stay afloat. Winner of EntertainmentWise's Best Hidden Gem Award 2014. 'This theatre company is definitely one to keep an eye on' (EdinburghSpotlight.com).