Review: Me, as a Penguin by Tom Wells
BILLED as a contemporary comedy ‘Me, as a Penguin’ is a particularly good hoot!
The five-strong cast performing at The Nottingham New Theatre until Saturday delivers this funny play with an ease and intimacy which makes for the feel of a cosy night in.
The amusing script follows a young couple who are waiting for their child, or "the bump," to finally arrive and Liz’s brother ‘Stitch’ who is struggling to be at ease with himself and his sexuality. The play offers both comedy and drama with the pace of the everyday, together with a large dollop of the absurd.
I liked the set which was every inch the modern day classic cheap TV makeover; a standard of living rooms for ‘those just starting out’ across the land.
Light changes made for the seamless passing of time as did the ease at which the actors waltzed through the hour and ten minutes running time.
As events unfold the play retains its humour throughout, with even the most emotional moments broken by well-timed observations. However, it is never flippant in its treatment of serious issues…and they are serious.
Oliver Kiddell who plays the mild mannered and sensitive ‘Stitch’ portrayed the character with depth and feeling.
Ellie Cawthorne, Liz, who plays his sister, was engaging and funny.
The delightfully dry John Bull gave a poignant performance especially towards the end when he accepts his fate with a gentlemanly grace. His timing was spot on and I laughed out loud more than a few times.
I must mention Hilary Adams who plays an old lady and has mastered Julie Walters’ Mrs Overall as though it were a lifetime study.
All the cast are all to be commended for the understated style with which they handled both the comedy and the drama.
In my opinion this play is a must see.
The theatre is situated within the grounds of Nottingham University. Tickets are £4 with 7.30pm performances until Saturday and a 2pm Saturday matinee.