Billed as ‘Comedy (mime, physical theatre)’ I was a little unsure about what to expect from
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.