Review: Get Kraken!

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Get Kraken at the Intimate Theatre, Cape TownCalling all comic book fans!

Alluding to the mythical mother-of-all-sea-monsters, Get Kraken! is a classic cartoon adventure, complete with poaching fishermen, one dimensional submarine robots with clumsy sidekicks, and clichéd Russian astronauts.

The comedic appeal and brilliance of the artists is apparent from the moment they set foot on stage, but it is their imagination that particularly shines in this production. The cast merges vivid miming and idiosyncratic sound effects to create a theatrical tale for the hunt of “Kraken”.  This show without a doubt raises the bar for experimental stage comedy.

Jon Keevy has created a basic narrative similar to the likes of Moby Dick, the biblical Jonah and the Whale, or even The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but above all, the collaborative effort and talent of the cast is the trump card of the show.  This saves the script which, perhaps not surprisingly, has a tendency to venture towards obvious.

Stefan Erasmus leads the team as the ingénue who goes through a rollercoaster ride to self-discovery and maturity.  As expected, Dylan Esbach is imposing and generally inhabits his character with an impressively pedantic aura as the staunch old-school grandfather.  Kudos to Jason Potgieter too, who asserts his versatility as both the downtrodden Russian rocketeer, and the evil and inept sidekick.

Very often the limited space and intimate ambience of a theatre plays an integral role to the mood of a production, and such is the case with Get Kraken! at the cosy Intimate Theatre. This show presents a refreshingly simple, yet innovative ensemble without the standard gimmicks of contemporary comedy theatre.

Benn Van Der Westhuizen

Get Kraken! runs at the Intimate Theatre 16 April to 4 May 2013.

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