Brighton Fringe 2017
Teatro Pomodoro is anarchic theatre at is best. They delivered a striking and provocative cabaret experience that challenged you to think and laugh about things you shouldn’t. Fabulously all in the name of theatre. The five strong cast entwined their use of clowning, buffoonery, live music, comedy, dance and song. The company based in Liverpool were brought together through their experience of Ecole Philippe Gaulier, pioneered by the French master clown, pedagogue and professor of theatre. Philippe Gaulier who trained under Lecoq, is the creator of the inverted clown working to strike a balance between the grotesque and charming. In Cabaret of the Shadows we meet Carmen, Duncan, Leebo, Miwa and Simone and revel in their beauty and pleasure while their perform for to our dark sides.
We first meet the cast as a unified inquisitor meeting every member of the audience individually, whilst we waited for the unexpected twists and turns of cabaret. Each sketch was punctuated by live music delivered mainly by Duncan and Leebo. The performers originate and are experienced in performing throughout the world and they use this influence to generate story lines for each character around sexuality, prejudice and society norms. We experience the notion of objectifying the female body and their response with a meat grinder, the transgendered Christ, the painting of the physical body in relation to colour and our judgement, the solo chicken, the breast feeding taboo magnified objectification and what decision we make when faced with choice and literally a bucket of objects to throw. As each taboo is presented the clowns await the audience response before intensifying the direction crescendo of each sketch. The audience were eager to connect and respond to the exploration of taboo’s which had you on the edge of your seat that at any point they could just go a a step too far. Yet the story lines they weave and the personas they created contained the dark side of human nature to unwind.
Each performer was entrancing and a clown in their own right. Their gestures, voice and physical realms as actors were highly commendable. They were able to create comedy in their stillness as much as their movement. Duncan in his role as a narrator through the use of accordion and voice was compelling to watch in his electrifying engaging energy that made you squirm. His ability to sustain tension and fierceness of emotion is to be commended. Your first impression is the anarchic and carefully thought out red and black costume, hair and make-up, with costumes designed by Carmen. Each detail and intricate effect had its meaning. The styles and colours appeared to communicate each clowns own inner state. Along with the fabulous wheeled teas made trolley for the meat grinder.
Cabaret of the shadows not only creates an experience true to the original Bouffon theatre which aims to target an attack on questionable values of mainstream society where the audience will be wildly entertained, yet when home realise their lives were meaningless and tried to change it. They also created they own personal stylised visual feat to which C.G. Jung would be proud of.