Point Hotel – Bread Street
An ‘improvised silent movie’ was certainly a first for me, and so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from tonight’s show bought to us by an Italian group Bugiardini, as I entered the intimate venue on Bread Street. In an innovative and quirky manner, the audience were encouraged, though mime, to approach the front of the stage and chalk on a board what was to be the topic of tonight’s show. This was settled on ‘Grumpy Astronaut’ – a rather unusual topic for a 1920’s themed show, but nonetheless intriguing.
The cast, props, lighting and projections were all in black and white, in homage to the 1920’s silent movie era, and included a spectacular ragtime pianist who improvised ferociously throughout the 50 minute set. The mime was intervalled sporadically with blackout and old style projector slides reminiscent of the Chaplin/Arbuckle era which provided some guidance to help follow the progress of the movie.
The movie appeared to cover the exploits and adventures of two gay astronauts on voyage throughout outer space with at times, hilarious slapstick. I have to admit, however, I was somewhat lost at numerous points throughout the show and found the storyline delivered by the six actors on-stage a bit confusing and disjointed. But given that this was an entirely improvised show they could be forgiven for a level of erratic-ism. And the show was impressively delivered with some excellent mime, which was seductive, comic, intricate and intriguing. Overall a great homage to the silent movie era, a well done, innovative and original piece. THREE STARS
Reviewer – Teri Welsh