Comedy review: Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus
Comedy review: Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus

Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Claire Smith ★★★★ Could we be entering the era of the rock and roll mime act? Perhaps. Since we saw him last, Trygve Wakenshaw has acquired an expensive-looking geometrically cut shock of bright blonde hair. In between sketches, he leaps into his spotlight …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Claire Smith

★★★★

Could we be entering the era of the rock and roll mime act? Perhaps.

Since we saw him last, Trygve Wakenshaw has acquired an expensive-looking geometrically cut shock of bright blonde hair.

In between sketches, he leaps into his spotlight and adopts a showbiz attitude and a cheesy grin. He plays with the spotlight throughout the show: trimming it, rolling it around the stage, making it bigger, seeing how tiny he can make himself inside it when it shrinks in size.

It’s such a simple trick but so magical, so delightfully playful. It is just one of the ways this Gaulier-trained New Zealand mime keeps our eyes fixed on him throughout.

Wakenshaw begins with the oldest, corniest joke in the world. But it is a mime version – so we don’t really know what he’s playing at – until it all falls perfectly together.

He has an uncanny knack of transforming himself, becoming a princess, a horse, a butterfly, bashful teenage Jesus and an arrogant stand up comic. In one brilliant section he becomes a member of his own audience, reluctantly coming on to the stage for a bit of humiliation.

Wakenshaw jumps in and out of character – playing two hugely different cowboys who are having a duel. His face, his movements, even his hair changes as he snaps from one personality to another.

It’s a world without limits. Characters can shape shift, inflict violence or tenderness on each other and pop up in each other’s stories.

Wakenshaw leaves his audience slack-jawed with admiration and at the end they rise to their feet for riotous applause.

Pleasance Courtyard Venue 33, run ended

Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015

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