Imperial Fizz delivers comedic take on Hollywood films of the 30s

This article is from 2010

Imperial Fizz delivers comedic take on Hollywood films of the 30s

David Calvitto returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with Brian Parks play

US actor and Fringe veteran David Calvitto tells Steve Cramer why he’s not quite ready for retirement yet

‘It certainly gets into the blood. I’ve performed in ten of the last 11 festivals and this will be my 14th show in those ten years,’ says US actor David Calvitto of his return to the Edinburgh Fringe. ‘While others have been preparing for their retirements, I’ve been rehearsing one or two (and one year, three) festival shows per year for a decade. I keep saying this will be my last, but I’m probably full of crap.’

The affable, silver-haired Calvitto will be performing a new play by Brian Parks, author of such past Fringe hits as Wolverine Dreams and Goner. These acidic satires focusing on the violence, ignorance and rapaciousness of contemporary American life have led some critics to interpret Parks’ works as political, but Calvitto maintains that this isn’t necessarily the case. ‘He’s just a very intelligent writer with a brilliant and original sense of humour who takes himself and his subject matter much less seriously than others often do,’ he says. ‘Here he’s delving into new territory with a play that includes music and songs. Imperial Fizz is his take on the particular genre of Hollywood films of the 30s which featured fast talking high society people in broadly comic situations.’

Imperial Fizz promises much for those who admire such films as Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and Arsenic and Old Lace, and Parks’ fast moving, quick-quipping dialogue feels like the natural inheritor of this American comic tradition. The piece is set in a posh household, where a husband and wife await an important dinner guest for rather darker purposes than we might at first imagine. British director Sophie Fletcher, despite her youth, already has a Fringe hit behind her in the much acclaimed Aruba and is likely to add a physical comedy dimension to what looks likely to be one of the most entertaining shows at this year’s Fringe.

Imperial Fizz, Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, 6–30 Aug (not 17, 24), 5.25pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11). Preview 5 Aug, £5.

Imperial Fizz

  • 4 stars

Cocktails, witty banter and pointed barbs. An elegant couple (Olivier Award nominated Issy van Randwyck and Stage best actor David Calvitto) jigger and joust their way to the ultimate nightcap. Surreal, intoxicating comedy from Fringe First-winner, Brian Parks. Brian Parks's 'Americana Absurdum': 'Refreshingly…