Trygve vs a Baby @ Assembly Roxy

This father-and-son act is more for the broody than the brooding

Review by Frankie Goodway | 09 Aug 2017
  • Trygve vs a Baby

Phineas Wakenshaw is a delight to watch. He’s uninhibited, he’s clearly enjoying himself, and he’s almost 13 months old. Trygve vs A Baby attempts to establish which is funnier, professional clowning or an infant. Phineas romps home with the win.

That said, this is more a double act than a competition; Phineas provides the perfect punchlines to his dad’s mime routines with an unexpected mastery of props and comic timing. Trygve is inventive, talented and improbably flexible and his characters are well-realised, and it’s a credit to him that he’s so watchable when all eyes are naturally drawn to Phineas. The gimmick (and it is, no doubt, a gimmick) is all about charming the audience, and it works, feeling natural and fun – any tension in the audience when Phineas first toddles on stage is masterfully dismantled by the first fantastic gag.

There are weak spots – occasionally sketches devolve into what feels like private play between father and son, and some of the scenes without Phineas aren’t strong enough to stand alone. And, as one might expect when Trygve puts his offspring front and centre, there are a lot of dad jokes. The comedy in general tends towards the silly or the gross – this is very much a family show. But the belly laughs outnumber the groans, and the coos, so perhaps Trygve has triumphed over a baby after all.

Trygve vs a Baby, Assembly Roxy (Central), until 27 Aug (not 14 & 21), 3pm, £10-12.50