Planet Earth III

David Attenborough meets clowning in this low-budget romp through the Earth’s depleted natural world. Planet Earth III is the BBC’s next nature documentary series, and even a complete lack of animals in this dystopic 2017 can’t stop them. Cue Luke Rollason, interning with the BBC’s sound and visual effects department, who must bring these creatures to life.

Rollason’s enthusiasm is infectious and the result is a hilariously fun hour of clowning around with the best of nature’s weirdos

Relying on only desk stationery and an overhead projector, Rollason creates charming clowning with a minimalist feel. That’s not to say the show takes itself too seriously: a simple hand movement becomes a romantic tragedy of Looney Tunes proportions. Rollason transitions smoothly between sequences and animals with the help of narration from “Attenborough”. It’s a decent impersonation peppered with jokes, yet the focus is always on Rollason. He’s a keen and talented performer whose constant bafflement with the task given to him establishes an endearing persona. Audience interaction is irreverent and silly, without bordering on awkwardness.

Pacing seems to be a slight issue, with Rollason half-jokingly referencing the time a few times throughout the show. An initial sequence with an angler fish feels a little overlong, but later the show falls into an even stride so it’s only a minor teething issue. A wide variety of animals are on display, a testament to Rollason’s physicality as he becomes sloths, hummingbirds and antelopes with the slightest of movements.

The show isn’t without a sting in the tail, and we are forced to face our own hand in the destruction of nature. It’s not pretty, and it’s hard not to feel a tugging at the heartstring as Rollason reveals the fate of our now-depleted natural world. The tone turns dark but retains its levity, instead leaving the audience on a light note with some impromptu mime. Rollason’s enthusiasm is infectious and the result is a hilariously fun hour of clowning around with the best of nature’s weirdos.

Reviews by Louise Jones

The Turn Pot

NOTFLIX

★★★★
The Tea Pot

Adele Cliff : Sheep

★★★
Laughing Horse @ Caroline of Brunswick

Jack Left Town: The Improvised Rock Documentary

★★★
The Warren: Studio 3

Planet Earth III

★★★★
Gilded Balloon at the Counting House

Beth Vyse: As Funny as Cancer

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘Planet Earth III’ is a low-budget, one-man nature documentary set in a future where our worst predictions came true. Following ecological collapse, thousands of endangered species are extinct, including the BBC. But one plucky (and unpaid) intern isn’t giving up the fight – and right on programming schedule, he’s going to give us a third series. Armed with obsolete office supplies and a surreal imagination, the angler fish, the hummingbird, the chameleon and more are brought back to life by the “impressive, in a very bizarre way” (LondonTheatre1) clown Luke Rollason.

Most Popular See More

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets