“Arf, Arf, Arffff.” What do you mean you expected this performance to be in English? The first opening scenes of this original comedy from new writers Banging Average Theatre is entirely in sea lion, and completely, physically, bonkers.
Physical comedy at its finest.
Not many performers could pull off an opening scene where the only lines uttered are “Arf”, but double act Chloe Darke and Susie Scott imitate the moves of sea lions so hilariously and perfectly that you don’t miss the (English) dialogue. Clad in black lycra, swimming caps and moustache, Darke and Scott are Lucille and Cecilia, two performing circus sea lions with a love for balancing balls and fish, and very different views on their trainer, Trevor and the outside world.
Lucille (Darke) yearns to escape the circus, and dreams about a life out in the big “salty drink drink” where she can take her pick from the food available in the ocean. Cecilia (Scott) is completely content with her captivity as a circus sea lion and only wants a simple life full of Mackerel and regular petting from their trainer, Trevor, whom she has developed a Stockholm-Syndrome-like affection for. Darke and Scott make a perfect duo, and their character imitation is an utter delight to observe - every move of a flipper, twitch of a whisker and facial expression will bring a smile to your face. It is physical comedy at its finest.
Once Lucille and Cecilia master the complexities of the English language, they argue about their futures in captivity - debating the pros and cons of escape. Trevor the Trainer’s appearances throughout the performance are a particular highlight – his interactions and relationship with both sea lions will leave you in stitches. Whilst there are occasional scenes that really push the audience’s capacity for back and forth between the two sea lions, the duo are so full of energy and bubbly enthusiasm they just about carry these off.
Whilst slap stick and physical comedy are not a new form of comedic expression, Banging Average Theatre bring a fresh and modern feel to the genre and this is what makes Lucille and Cecilia so entertaining. It’s a style of show and a relationship between two comics that we are familiar with, but with an original and downright silly subject matter which makes it an easy and joyous show to watch. If you are a lover of traditional physical comedy, or just a lover of sea lions - Lucille and Cecilia will leave clapping your own flippers for more.