• By Tom King
  • |
  • 12th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Billed as ‘Comedy (mime, physical theatre)’ I was a little unsure about what to expect from Kraken, but whatever it was that I had been expected was soon proven to be way out. This is superbly entertaining stuff and something that must be seen to be truly appreciated.

Kraken is a huge slice of fun that transcends language and, except for the nudey bits, age.

Trygve Wakenshaw's first appearance on stage, trailing bungee cords, seems the standard ‘wacky’ start to a show until he starts towards a box across the stage and these cords begin to strain against his clothes. What happens next makes you sit up and pay attention, even more so when you realise that what was in the box is an absolutely identical set of clothes, setting up an identical sequence of events, sans bungee cords. This is not ‘mime’ as you know it.

Or if it is, it’s certainly the chattiest mime I’m ever seen. Wakenshaw peppers his routine with whispered asides and sound effects. This, though, feels totally permissible, given the complex winding story he’s trying to tell. Unicorns appear and disappear into thin air; juggling and sword-swallowing acts are performed (and so convincingly that they seem no less impressive by virtue of there being no ACTUAL swords); snakes are charmed and music played. All of these scenes are deftly interwoven - I’m impressed when a stand-up can do proper funny callbacks in their routine but to do this without speaking is even more impressive. And with each, new rules are established in the world of Kraken, rules which are used to bring the audience into the show.

Make no mistake about this - if you’re in the audience, you WILL be made part of the show. But you’ll enjoy it. You may have an invisible apple shot off your head, you may end up playing tag on stage or you may just be part of the soundtrack of the show. Whatever happens though, you’ll be laughing.

Kraken is a huge slice of fun that transcends language and, except for the nudey bits, age. Charming and hilarious. Just beware Row A.

Reviews by Tom King


A Fortunate Man

Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

Assembly George Square Gardens

Jess Robinson: No Filter




The Blurb

From award-winning Gaulier-trained clown and creator of smash hit Squidboy (Sold Out and nominated for a Total Theatre Award 2013) comes Trygve Wakenshaw’s new physical comedy, Kraken. Beautifully strange stream-of-consciousness idiocy. Winner: 2014 Edinburgh Underbelly Award. Nominated: Barry Award for Best Show, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 2014. Nominated: Golden Gibbo Award, 2014. ‘An hilarious hour of inspired physical comedy... Universally enchanting, enticing and enriching. Wakenshaw’s physicality is perfect.’ (Steve Bennett, ‘Delirious and surreal physical comedy...Boundlessly absurd’ ***** (Age). ‘Kraken is crackers’ ****½ (Herald Sun). ‘Beautiful madness’ **** (SBS).