Tom Neenan: Attenborough

A thoroughly enjoyable romp through David Attenborough’s imagined early adventures. Tom Neenan plays the character of young Attenborough on his first quest as a documentarian for the BBC - out on the search for the legendary Big Foot. Trying to find the Big Foot, or Sasquatch, Attenborough comes across cute animal sidekicks, less cute animal sidekicks, medieval manuscripts, and a lot of photography copyright. All is told through high-paced gags, charismatic delivery, and masterful operation of a packed projector presentation. Highly recommended comedy, regardless of how much you admired Planet Earth.

Handled with a charm and efficiency that mark him as one to watch.

The cheery and bespectacled Neenan tells us this show is about a letter and a piece of footage. Really though, it's more a vehicle for character storytelling, and tenuously nature-based gags - and none the worse for it. The plot itself is fun and endearing, and well paced. The only moment where it slips is just before the ending, where it feels that Neenan hasn't quite smoothed the transitions. The conclusion itself reaches a satisfying conclusion, however, and Neenan is energetically applauded for his use of both filmed and fluffy props.

He deploys list-of-three jokes at an astonishing pace. In fact, given the amount that he delivers, you would expect some not to land, but they continue to surprise and delight the audience.

If you were to place Neenan’s style of comedy in a Venn diagram, it would be in the centre of overlapping circles entitled Character Comedy, Visual Gags, Meta, and Panel Show References. The whole set-up felt like a chirpy younger brother of Joseph Morpurgo’s multimedia, high-concept comedy shows (like this year's Hammerhead). All was handled with a charm and efficiency that mark him as one to watch. I can't wait to see Neenan’s offering next year. 

Reviews by Lily Lindon

Assembly George Square Theatre

David O'Doherty: Big Time

★★★★
Roundabout @ Summerhall

Scorch

★★★★
Underbelly, George Square

Fleabag

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult

★★★★
Underbelly Med Quad

Joan

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Heroes don't come more heroic and treasures don't come more national. A character comedy show about the life, ambitions and adventures of the world's greatest living naturalist, broadcaster and adventurer, David Attenborough. From acclaimed character comedian Tom Neenan. 'A master class in arch, tongue-in-cheek but still incredibly clever comedy’ ***** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Sustained and consistent brilliance’ (Guardian). 'One man narrative juggernaut’ **** (List). 'Very funny... Neenan inhabits the rogues' gallery of characters with great panache' **** (Telegraph).