Machina (2 stars)

A romp through theatrical devices misses more than hits

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Machina

Malcostume Compagnia Teatrale's revolutionary Flavio (Gian Marco Pellecchia) has taken over a banal television show with his bizarre homage to Commedia dell'Arte.

He is an enthusiastic clown, endearingly introducing contrived love affairs, ridiculous conceits with pop lyrics, and the redoubtable, boorish Pantalone, who pops up on screen during moments of high drama screaming about his 'secondary character status', and starts to take over the narrative in a way that benefits nothing but his own ego, as glitches fizz and crackle on the screen.

Unfortunately, the technology is consistently working against him in this production. It's hard to focus on the subtitles right at the top of the stage – which more often than not arrive a little too late – as well as his own actions, alongside the additional characters at either side of the stage, whose tinny sound blasts are a real distraction. The storyline may get rather lost, but there are some great ideas, such as the endless theatre in-jokes and inversion of familiar tropes. Gian Marco Pellecchia is a consistently charming presence, but the show never becomes coherent. A shame, as there is a lot of raw potential here.

ZOO, until 29 Aug (not 28), 12.45pm.

Machina

  • 2 stars

Malcostume Compagnia Teatrale An extravagant presenter introduces a contrived comedic plot: two lovers, an old father, a suitor… Everything seems familiar, but something unexpected is coming. From within the machine-like workings of a cliche, feel good TV show, revolution is brewing: a fight against the Tyranny of…

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