On a rare night out last night–people with kids are not allowed out unless they are very good–we attended Spymonkey’s Moby Dick at the Liverpool Playhouse. With a cast of four, including a Spanish Ishmael, half a ship and a cabin boy called Pete (or is that Pip?) this is a deranged attempt to cram 900 pages of literary epic into a couple of hours. I mean that as a compliment. The show is a mix of pantomime, vaudeville, slapstick comedy and–sometimes–Melville’s words. The comedy is fast-paced, well timed and utterly silly, though this is clearly a literate and affectionate homage to the novel. In a strange sort of way it does justice to the absurdity of Melville’s masterpiece.