Review: Pelican

Alice Boyd 22 October 2014

What do a vampire walrus, a soul-sucking Nigel Farage and a Beatles-loving Jesus Christ have in common? They will all make you laugh in spite of yourself, at Pelican: A Sketch Show.

The show is a mash up of often funny, always absurd, minute long ventures and whilst the thread that links these sketches is tenuous at best, the show is fun, wacky and well worth the ride.

When asked how they came up with the skits for the show Guy Emanuel says, “We spent a lot of time together over the summer”. You can sense the very real camaraderie between the performers, which often translates into silly but amusing moments. Emanuel said the team spent a lot of time improvising and mucking around to come up with material whilst Theo Whethered explains that, “whenever we came up with a line we liked we’d write it down to use later.”

Beatles fans will enjoy several nods to their idols throughout the show; pop culture references are a constant. Audience participation has half the audience dancing and the rest laughing at us looking foolish up on the stage. In one particularly hilarious group moment, people from the audience were jumping up to join the action on stage. It is usually difficult to get audience members up on stage, even when you ask and cajole, so a spontaneous joining in certainly gives credit to the boys’ infectious energy and enthusiasm. (However if you don’t want to get covered in confetti or sprayed in regurgitated water, I would suggest choosing one of the back rows.)

Pelican will require you to suspend your disbelief and stretch your imagination but if you’re willing, you will have a great time doing it. There is a bit of everything packed in, with the performers exploring physical theatre, wacky accents, wacky costumes and theatre of the (totally) absurd. I think the performers would call this a “post modern masterpiece”  (you’ll need to see the show to get that one) and it is certainly a fun and amusing way to spend an evening.


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'Pelican'  is playing at the Corpus Playroom at 9.30 pm until Saturday 25th. Get your tickets online at