When we saw Glorilla at Bristol Ferment a couple of years ago, it was a work in progress. The nature of Ferment, for us, is to skip along to whatever is showing and see what happens; there’s very little planning involved so, when we read that this was a talk by French Actress, Gloria Delaneuf, about her experiences with gorillas in some jungle, we imagined it might be a little bit serious: interesting, probably, and calm.
We couldn’t have been more wrong! The comedy duo Susie Donkin and Pauline Morel had us laughing out loud with their schoolchild humour, their ridiculous take on life and their natural flow. And Glorilla is back but, this time, it’s a fully fledged performance of around an hour long at the recently re-located Wardrobe Theatre.
A very loose spoof of Gorillas in the Mist, Glorilla takes place mostly in the form of flashbacks to the Kungalunga Jungle, where International Animal Communicator, Delaneuf (Morel), finds her true calling and falls in love with Micky, a gorilla. Assisted by her UK tour manager, Josephine Cunningham (Donkin), she tells us about her 2014 journey into life in the wilderness. And, Mon Dieu, these two women are a real tonic with a rare ability to entertain completely together. There’s no ‘straight’ character here – they work as one, Donkin hilariously causing exasperation with her fumbling actions, trying so hard to please, while Morel excels in sexy looks of despair and haughty disbelief.
Expect very funny sex and shower scenes, reluctant dressing up, a little audience participation and Tarzan balls. Donkin and Morel will put a smile on your face that will see you through any EU referendum (gulp!). Like Gloriator before it, Glorilla uncovers an exciting comedy talent that demands to be enjoyed. Highly recommended.
Glorilla shows at The Wardrobe Theatre until 25th June
Image by Mark Dawson, with thanks