Pagagnini (3 stars)

This article is from 2008.


Giving clowning a modern twist

After five minutes of classical music in a strictly straight-faced, show-off virtuoso style, from a string quartet in coat-tails and white bow-ties, the first signs of slapstick start to appear. It’s from the Spanish mime and physical theatre troupe, Yllana who’ve brought Star Trip and 666 in the past, and this year they’ve gone for something a bit more subtle and sophisticated. When solemn violin master Ari Malakian steps off stage for a second, the other three use their instruments as banjos or African drums, and ditch the Mozart and Vivaldi to play the Looney Tunes theme, make birdsong noises, or put on a one-man concert using a loop pedal and an electric violin.

Flawless choreography means the show runs like a Swiss watch, and they manage flamenco dancing while still playing cello. Already liking classical music obviously helps but if not, the foursome do a good job of giving clowning a modern twist, and making innocent, child-friendly entertainment along the same lines as actors like Roberto Benigni or Charlie Chaplin.

Freemason’s Hall, 220 0143, until 25 Aug, 7.05pm, £12–£14 (£8–£10).

Pagagnini by Yllana

  • 3 stars

A refreshing take on classical themes, complete with coattails and virtuoso violins. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.

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