Warning: This Show Will Leave Your Face Hurting From Laughing

SOPHIE MEADOWS reviews ‘Kraken’ showing at the Soho Theatre.

From the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 comes ‘Kraken’, Trygve Wakenshaw’s sequel to ‘Squidboy’. Sold out for its first two nights at Soho Theatre, Wakenshaw’s one-man show has been described by Time Out as ‘blissfully funny’.

‘Kraken’ is physical comedy at its best. Wakenshaw is a blend of acts and characters, being part contortionist, ballerina, magician, Olga from ‘2 Broke Girls’, and Stewie from ‘Family Guy’. The result is fantastically original.

Wakenshaw exposes everything before he’s barely begun, and without physical props or scenery, ‘Kraken’ is Wakenshaw laid bare. Yet despite this, and the absurdity of what’s being acted on stage, ‘Kraken’ is wholly believable, eliciting groans and laughter from the audience.

Wakenshow prances across the stage, morphing from animal to person to animal, from one sketch into another seamlessly, with no obvious logical connection between them. His versatility is admirable – he becomes a character so quickly, with such ease and confidence that it is easy to forget how bizarre his transformations are.

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Aside from a few carefully placed exclamations and mumbled, distorted speech, the show is predominantly comic mime. When Wakenshaw does speak he sounds like Stewie from ‘Family Guy’ – perhaps this is why, despite so few words, he has entire the audience onside.

There is something wonderful about how fully and how quickly the audience is accepting of ‘Kraken’s’ bizarre narrative. With little effort Wakenshaw has the audience beat-boxing before they realise what they’re doing, proving that even though he is the one on stage, we are the puppets.

His interaction with the audience makes this show not just hilarious, but a really fun hour. If you don’t want to be kissed, prodded, threatened or “stabbed”, don’t sit on the front three rows (or the ends either)!

In the words of Age magazine, ‘To describe what actually happens in this show would be pointless and unjust’ – you’ll have to go and see it for yourself.

‘Kraken’ is showing at Soho Theatre until the 18 January. For more information and tickets please click here http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/kraken/

Image attributed to Fraser Cameron.