I never thought that when the lights suddenly filled the dark, compact room three floors above the Tuxedo Cat venue that I may die from several knife wounds at a one man show named ‘Squidboy’. A heady mix of trembling fear and excited arousal had me uncomfortably sitting in my seat as the small audience was greeted by a towering figure complete with fisherman garb and a coarse, wiry beard brandishing a large knife. So began the tale of Squidboy, one part comedy, one part tragedy and a whole bunch of fun.
The one man show presents the actor with a myriad of challenges, she or he must keep the audience engaged, grapple with the laws of reality and delicately balance the line between the absurd and normality. Trygve Wakenshaw (a true actors name!) manages to pull all of these elements together in a thoroughly entertaining hour long show. Trygve traverses between persona’s of a fisherman struggling with perilous encounters with a squid out at sea and the actual squid itself (comically represented as a half man/half squid amalgam). The interplay between the two stories has a real ‘meta’ feel, constantly switching between these two characters in order for the audience to bond to both of them, while allowing a surreal look into a relationship between a fisherman and his arch nemesis, the squid.
Comedic devices are employed beautifully, audience interaction is taken to a whole new level when Squidboy coaxes a man to act out eating a sheep, whole. What was really impressive was how Squidboy managed to make much of the audience squirm in their seat and yell “Don’t do it Squidboy!” as he explored invisible objectionable smells. These devices seem simple but they were executed with plenty of skill and had the audience in utter hysterics.
Not only was Squidboy an extremely funny one man show, it hit the heart strings too with a story of lost love and fading memories. A pleasure to dissect psychologically just as much as it was to sit back and laugh at.
FOUR STARS – a favourite from the Fringe
Squidboy has finished it’s run at the Fringe, however you can find out more about Squidboy and the theatre company Theatre Beating at their Facebook page