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Daniel Kitson: Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought review at the Traverse Theatre

Daniel Kitson: Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought. Photo: Gavin Osborn Daniel Kitson: Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought. Photo: Gavin Osborn

Daniel Kitson’s latest theatre show is an endlessly fascinating puzzle box that takes the lessons learned from the complex story-telling of 2012’s As of 1:52 GMT… and the following year’s Analog.Ue and applies them to an elegant tale of friendship and middle-age. On one level, it’s the story of lonely William Booth, the yarn he himself is plotting about a magical mouse, and a strange phone call. But there are many, many levels.

Like Tree before it, much of Mouse takes place in a duologue, but here there’s no second performer. Instead, he weaves in and out of the action, occasionally pausing to reflect on the story and address the audience directly, keeping them warmed up and onside during a consistently complex and meta-textual tale.

To give anything else away would be blasphemous, save that there are quiet but insistent themes of the consequences of life choices, the divergent paths taken by friends that draw them together or apart. It’s a twisty tale, with Kitson in full ‘Roald Dahl Tales of the Unexpected’ mode. It’s a mode he, unsurprisingly, has mastered with enviable aplomb.

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Extremely funny and dizzyingly smart new show, with Kitson in Roald Dahl mode