Frank Sumatra @ Theatre N16 Review

What would you do if all of a sudden, a chimp ended up on your doorstep first thing in the morning? Stare in disbelief? Run away? Proceed to scream and shout? Call the police? Take him in? Or all of the above? A scenario that automatically encourages a range of questions, Frank Sumatra playfully explores this absurd scenario in a comical radio show format.

Frank Sumatra

Part radio show, part comedy, Frank Sumatra is a brilliant cross over between the mediums of radio and the theatre. Presented to the audience as a behind the scenes look at the radio show world, the audience are made to question whether the production is actually playing live on the radio or not. It’s the latter, but this very convincing set reels the audience into questioning how the evening will play out. The evening begins as it means to go on, Bev and Keith (Hannah Walker and Pip Chamberlin),  the two, protagonists are bubbly, authentic and endearing, making the surrealism of an Orangutan becoming an additional family member incredibly funny and it’s easy to ride along with the chaos.

Dean Logan embraces the role of the play’s clown; every sound effect a punchline to the comedy set up by the cast. Frank the Oragutan lives through the reactions and anecdotes delivered by the cast, a wild animal assimilating into a domesticated lifestyle gaurantees laughs, and this does. The absurdity is fun, and the audience question where this scenario will end up and this is thanks to Mike Yeaman‘s quirky script. Neil Armstrong directs a clever and playful piece of theatre. The Orangutan serves as a practice-run for the real thing, a child which the couple long for. As the evening is so light hearted, and the audience are invested in the absurdity of the situation, there’s room for the couple’s aspiration to really hit home which is doesn’t fully achieve. This however is an inventive piece of theatre that has you laughing from beginning to end, go and watch if you can! 4/5

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Frank Sumatra is currently showing at Theatre N16 until Wednesday 18th May. For more information on the production, visit here…

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