Just this past week, I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of Stewart Lee’s Pea Green Boat, not once but twice!
From the outset, I need to be clear that I am not, in any way, trying to write a theatre review here. I can barely structure a book review let alone dabble in critiquing immersive theatre. Let’s just call whatever this is that I am writing “reflections”. To add to that, I need to make a full disclosure and say that I have known Director Jim Fishwick for many years as I am friends with his mum and my son has been at school with his brother for gazonkadonks.
I loved Edward Lear’s Nonsense Songs when I was younger. They were weird and silly and enormously fun. One of the most famous, and delightful, of his poems is The Owl and The Pussy-cat which comedian Stewart Lee has appropriated into a darker, macabre tale of love and obsession whilst drifting pointlessly at sea. I love appropriated fiction. Whether it is posted up as fanfiction or fanart, whether it gets the rubber stamp of approval from publishers or production companies, there is something wonderful about a story that gets elaborated upon by many different storytellers. To add to that, every morning for this past month, I have woken up to my husband laughing at Stewart Lee youtube clips. I was already familiar with two major aspects of the theatre I was about to to take part in. In Jetpack Theatre Collective‘s reimagining of Stewart Lee’s reimagining of the Pea Green Boat, we the audience are cast afloat in a pea green boat, a real one.
From here, the audience of three are addressed by the Owl (Hannah Cox) who talks of her deep love for the Pussy-cat (Jim Fishwick), as inappropriate and species-challenged as their love may be. Meanwhile, the Pussy-cat sits behind us rowing across the water to meet the Turkey (Alexander Richmond) who is to marry them. Continue reading