FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Trygve Wakenshaw: NAUTILUS (5 stars)

Review by Laura Money

An empty stage awaits. I mean actually empty, not even scaffolding or cool lighting effects – just the staggered seating of the audience and a painted black floor. Comedian Trygve Wakenshaw cautiously enters the stage – no props in hand, just him in a suit. He takes a tentative step towards the audience. He lets out a cheep! All at once, Wakenshaw transforms into a chicken crossing the road – thus begins NAUTILUS. Literally opening with a twist on the age-old classic, ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ gag epitomises what Wakenshaw is all about. It’s pure silliness, wrapped up in physical comedy.

Once the crowd figures out what Wakenshaw is up to, the atmosphere relaxes and people really start to laugh. It’s impossible not to laugh out loud, Wakenshaw’s antics elicit a deep delight. His sketches are razor-sharp yet goofy at the same time – clever and on point, yet ridiculous and nonsensical. Wakenshaw bends and twists like a human pretzel, stretching out his gangly frame to create a whole raft characters and scenarios.

From a series of animals being exploited only to get their revenge, to a realistic take on the Rapunzel tale, from a wild-west saloon duel, to Jesus Christ unable to dive into a swimming pool, every sketch is captivating and wholly immersive. Highlights of the show include a brilliant mime of a stand-up comedy act, complete with set-list scrawled onto the hand and audience interaction, a pole dance like no other – let’s just say he strips bare the art of stripping – and my personal favourite, a surreal experience involving a dinosaur getting ready for bed.

Every facet of this show has been honed to perfection. Wakenshaw moves his body in ways I didn’t know the human body could move! He is fluid and playful, and entirely capable of creating a whole world with only his body. NAUTILUS is an endearing and belly-laugh inducing rollercoaster of scenarios punctuated by an immensely talented, 21st century clown.

When: 27th January – 4th February 2017 | 75 minutes

Where: Summer Nights at the State Theatre Centre WA | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $29

Info: Duration 75 minutes | Suitable all ages, recommended 15+