A Night At Commedia (FringeTIX)
Access All Comedy @ Fowler’s Live
12:30pm, Wed 28 Mar 2007
Half-past-midday on a Wednesday, and I’m the only punter in Fowler’s. Until a cluster of schoolkids trundle in, teacher in tow.
Luckily, A Night At Commedia is not the usual school-day theatre matinee; it’s a performance in the style of Commedia dell’Arte. I saw one such performance last year and, unsure as to whether it’s a style that I could continue to appreciate (I still remember Octavia’s legs fondly, and wonder whether that clouded my judgment), I slotted this one into the schedule.
So – once again, we’re talking improv, we’re talking audience participation (three schoolboys were summoned for bit roles in the performance), we’re talking masks and costumes. And it’s not bad – the school kids got into it (the one time this Fringe where audience participation of that type was actually warranted), and the actors – Alessandro Gavello and Corinna Di Niro – keep the tempo up and the laughs flowing.
The plot’s not worth mentioning – it’s a ramshackle affair, but there’s enough of a convoluted love story in there to keep things interesting. It’s all earnestly performed, with massive overacting mixing well with mime (and even small stunts) as required. Special mention should be made of one of the teachers from the school group – he’d obviously been targeted as the twist in the love story, and the actors worked him into the act well. He was a bloody good sport to go along with the end-story, too – bravo, matey :)
So… worth the effort? Yeah, why not. Be warned, though – it’s a bit different to the normal theatrical presentation, so be prepared to get involved.