Bristol-based company Clownfish presents the Australian premiere of Sir David and his Animals, a show about renowned naturalist and broadcasting treasure Sir David Attenborough. Performed by founders Jess Clough-MacRae and Jonathan Tilley, this joyous and thoroughly entertaining show is guaranteed to delight, enchant and entertain audiences of all ages.
Inspired by the BBC classics Blue Planet and Planet Earth, we are treated to a unique play where Sir David Attenborough (performed by Tilley) narrates segments of animals' lives. The animals themselves are all performed by Clough-MacRae, who brings thoughtful nuance and studied observation to her impressions.
Tilley presents a gripping and tonally en pointe impression of Attenborough, whilst adding his own flavour to the role. Fantastic expressions, committed impressions and masterful storytelling abound. No character study was shy of the mark, with the 'exquisite sloth' and 'thieving penguin' impressions being personal highlights. Each facial exchange and physical interaction between the actors was considered and exquisitely executed, resulting in true hilarity.
Both actors attacked their roles with tremendous dedication, with this being perhaps the most physically demanding performance I have seen in the the realm of physical theatre. Truly an endurance sport, Tilley and Clough-MacRae proceed to tirelessly jump, hop, climb, crawl, swim, crab-walk and weave their way across the stage and into the audience for the full performance.
In addition, the soundtrack and sound effects offer the perfect backdrop to this knock-out performance. From the emotive score that we all know and love, that underpins every David Attenborough documentary, to subtle yet crucial sound effects like the creaking of a tall pine, to the swelling of the sea, we are effortlessly transported from the coast of Canada to the sands of the Galapagos Islands and all places in between.
Both actors demonstrate tremendous grit and talent in their tackling of this diverse performance. Highly nuanced impressions and hilarious exchanges abound. It's alright if my words don't convince you, the standing ovation probably says it all.