Francesco De Carlo: Italians Do It Later
Pleasing, Eddie Izzard-inspired Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut from Italian comedian
This article is from 2014.
There is an argument that you should apply the same critical faculties to all comedy equally across the board. It’s a dilemma some comedy award judges have to wrestle with each August. Yet surely there are different criteria for judging a sketch show against straight stand-up, or an improv showcase versus musical comedy. The same judgemental manoeuvring should then come into play when assessing a comic born and brought up in the UK to someone who has English as their second language but has gained a vast amount of knowledge about its intricacies in order to put together a comedy show at the Fringe.
At times, you suspect Francesco De Carlo’s education on stand-up might have been limited to watching DVDs of Eddie Izzard (the mentor who has helped bring him to Edinburgh), but given that there is no stand-up scene to speak of in Italy, it’s perfectly understandable that he would need to look further afield in order to start working out what his comedic voice should sound like.
While a circuit doesn’t exist there, Italian society still has the capacity to throw up plenty raw material for comedy, and De Carlo makes much of Silvio Berlusconi’s eccentricities and the rich seam of corruption which infiltrates Italian life. Naturally, he’s done his research on Scotland and has knockabout fun with our experiences of sunshine and has decent routines about hippos (could be the Izzard effect again), sports commentators and TV advertising. Italians Do It Later is a pleasing Fringe debut but he might need to leave home permanently if he wants to pursue the stand-up dream further.
Pleasance Courtyard, run ended.