A trip to see Frog Man involves taking a seat in the Monkey House at the Zoo. If you fathom this animal conundrum you’ll be rewarded with a dark humoured, well acted and entertaining play.
Mick Martin’s Frog Man centres around the lives of Kenny (Andrew Warnock), a police frogman, and his childhood sweetheart Kelly (Ruth Herbert). Their suburban bliss is conveyed through a series of comic scenes reminiscent of 1950s commercials. Through flashbacks, we learn more of their childhood and the dark secret that binds them. It soon becomes apparent that the superficial nature of their life (hot tub, 4 x 4, “having the best handwriting”) cannot eclipse the tragic event of their past. The third cast member, Tim Richey, expertly morphs from their middle class furniture salesman neighbour, Malcolm, to the young “smelly drain” boy, Adrian, who is bullied by Kenny and Kelly.
The use of projection is impressive, in particular the interrogation where the large silhouette of a policeman dwarfs the young Kelly and, in bringing to life the murky depths of the canal. The physical nature of Frog Man’s dance and mime is accompanied by a well chosen and effective soundtrack.
Personally, I think Frog Man shows that it takes more than material belongings to escape the demons of our past. Kelly attempts to forget hers with her ‘dancing queen’ partner Malcolm. Whereas Kenny submerges himself in his frog world. The result is a compelling 65 minutes of entertainment for the audience.
In a Fringe of mega-venues and large productions, it’s good to know there are shows like Frog Man which are worth walking past the bright lights and, hustle and bustle of The Pleasance Courtyard for.
Frog Man is showing at the Zoo, located at 14 The Pleasance until 25th August.
Essential | Worth a watch | One to miss