REVIEW: Sean Hughes' 'Penguins' at Bridgwater Arts Centre

Bridgwater Mercury: SEAN Hughes. SEAN Hughes.

“EVER tried. Ever failed. No matter.

Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” So said playwright Samuel Beckett.

You might be surprised to hear this still-cherished quote from the man who wrote ‘Waiting For Godot’, a play darkly exploring the futility of existence.

Yet it was the beauty in failure that comedian Sean Hughes, another oft wrongly considered miserable in demeanour (he said), drove home to his Bridgwater audience on Friday.

Penguins, his Edinburgh Fringe 2013- approved show, opened with a blaze of ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’, with a penguin, the head of Jesus, and then Sean himself, miming triumphantly over Edith Piaf.

But whatever Edith said, even she had regrets, said Sean. “We all have regrets in our lives. If someone says they don’t, just punch them really hard in the face. And if they get upset about it, just say, ‘it’s all in the past’.”

So to life’s lessons and experiences, from being cast out of the house, aged four, to fend for ourselves at school “like migrating penguins”, and make sense of the world. The disappointment of losing love to a leather-clad friend, against the profundity of feeling the possibility of love in the first place.

How a personal slight could change you for the better.

Meanders included a dissection of last week’s Mercury; how dinner party awkwardness might’ve affected The Last Supper; the dream that One Direction might one day release a political song.

That Sean’s closing gambit was to embrace our flaws, is exactly why Penguins has been dubbed his "funniest and most profound" yet.

DAISY BLACKLOCK

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