Kraken, Underbelly, review: Crude and lewd

Edinburgh Festival 2014: Vomiting, defecation, self-cannibalism and crotch-kissing are all on the bill during mime artist's show

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The Independent Culture

In a city that never shuts up, for a month at least, silence can be golden. That’s to say, mime has had a resurgence at recent Fringes, with the likes of Doctor Brown and Boy with the Tape on his Face packing in the crowds.

That upturn continues this year with the squid-named alter ego of Aussie performer Trygve Wakenshaw.

You might describe Wakenshaw as Doctor Brown’s cuter cousin. Like the 2012 Comedy Award winner, he’s crude and lewd, moving from a cheeky opening act of exhibitionism through routines involving vomiting, defecation, self-cannibalism and crotch-kissing.

But he’s also possessed of a goofy charm, reminiscent of the young Jim Carrey, that defuses any discomfort. Technically, he’s not a bona-fide mime artist either: frequently and teasingly, his character breaks his vow of creative silence, emitting camp sound effects or over-mouthing words to the point of vocalising them.

Physically, at least, he’s the real deal, though, rubber-faced, loose-limbed and wondrously expressive, not least during the highlight that is his one-man two-hander between a squawking chick and its parent at feeding time. There’s not much more to the show than meets the eye, but such is the spectacle, it would be churlish to complain.

To 24 August (0844 545 8252)

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