Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** Lee speculates comically about "The Owl And the Pussycat"

Lee announces this as his "first mid-thirties pretentious one-man show", but it retains his trademark comic perspective.

The idea is that Lee, having been commissioned to write a treatment of an Edward Lear biopic to star Ray Winstone(!), becomes simultaneously obsessed with Lear's nonsense poem and with his own problems living in a flat without a toilet. No, really, it all meshes together after a fashion.

His technique goes beyond deadpan: he applies a scathing literal analysis to irrational material to make it even funnier. An owl shares a boat with a cat, its natural predator: "Why was this allowed to happen?" How do they open the jar of honey when neither has opposable thumbs? What chords can the owl manage on its small guitar? Is the turkey that marries them at the end of the poem ordained? ...that sort of thing.

He augments his main material with bits of writing he has found on the street, and his performance with slides, a live cellist and Simon Munnery in a huge false beard as Lear and in a Michael Caine voice as Winstone. There's a hint of Ken Campbell about this kind of monologue, but Lee brings a darker intelligence to bear on the absurdity of it all.

Written for

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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