Trygve Wakenshaw Has Audience Purring in Edinburgh
New Zealander Trygve Wakenshaw, of Squidboy cult fame, takes a skilful tour of an imaginary shape-shifting world at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“It’s hard to get Doctor Brown out of your mind when watching Trygve Wakenshaw’s Kraken,” Guardian reviewer Brian Logan writes. “That’s not (all) Wakenshaw’s fault: his style of silent comedy was around long before Dr B made it hip again. But there’s more to the similarity than that. Wakenshaw starts his show with a brilliant entrance sequence that recalls the intro to Brown’s Edinburgh comedy award-winning show in 2012. He walks a similar line between childlike innocence and sexual threat. Even the venue’s the same: Brown performed on this stage for three years running, and made it his own.
“It says a lot for Wakenshaw, who enjoyed cult success with his 2013 show Squidboy, that he holds his own in the comparison. Kraken is a largely delightful stream-of-mime-consciousness, a one-man tour of a near-wordless, shape-shifting world, where horses turn into unicorns, which lead to a self-disembowelment, then segues into an elephant birthing its calf. Wakenshaw performs it all with a coy eye on the audience, defying us to question its good sense; and with frequent rug-pulling reference to the hollowness of the enterprise. His world is luridly visible – and yet, he likes to remind us, there’s nothing there.
“Flirtatious, outrageous, and skilful, Wakenshaw has the audience purring, and their affection intensifies when he sees off a stage invasion by rogue heckler.”
Based in London, Trygve (pronounced “trig-vee”) Wakenshaw studied with master clown Philippe Gaulier. Squidboy enjoyed a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013.
Original article by Brian Logan, The Guardian, August 3, 2014.