FestivalsReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Pelican Fisk – The Warren: Theatre Box

Reviewer: Simon Topping

Hawk and Fisk are at the top of their tennising game; no one else can match their double trouble. At the peak of it all, after fighting their way to the very top, Fisk is shot on court just as they win the world cup. Hawk is bereft and after five years out of the game looks to solve his partner’s murder.

From the start, comedy group Pelican, consisting of Sam Grabiner, Jordan Mitchell and Guy Emanuel, are fun to watch. Their group movement always raises a giggle, especially when they synchronise in comedy dancing, dressed in full tennis whites, headbands attached.

Some scenes are hilariously done. There is a fabulous use of step ladders and litter pickers for a bad guy meeting skit, which has the audience screaming with laughter. There are strong elements of improv technique on show including a nicely done slow-motion section; the troupe revel in the mayhem of it all.

The plot is confusing and takes the viewers down several dead ends before it emerges that Hawk has to go and see a janitor in a spooky tennis museum to find out more about his friend’s death. It appears that the head of the ITF (International Tennis Foundation) Mr Chicken is at the heart of murder and Hawk needs to confront him to get justice for his heinous crime.

The convoluted story slows the second half down a little. The piece feels more like a series of interlinked sketches (which are all very funny) rather than a play and is at its very best when you forget about what is going on and concentrate on the separate vignettes.

Although the structure of the show needs work, Pelican are very good entertainers, there is a lot of chemistry between them. They get the audience involved well and have the room rolling with laughter all evening; it’s a solid performance.

Reviewed on 31 May 2019 | Image: Contributed

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