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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Low Down

A highly popular performance of a classic art form which has complexity at its heart. Our storytellers clash as one tells the tale of lovers, whilst the other of two brothers long apart. With the complication of a father who wishes to interfere as he is the greatest actor in all Italy. From Pantalone, to Isabella, to Rizzio and Flavio, we have a scoundrel wishing to steal the bride but who leaves with the tale to tell, and a duel stopped in its barrel by the tricks of a childhood lost and now rediscovered.


There is little doubt that I witnessed a hardened exponent of Commedia who was highly skilled in its performance techniques. The problem I had was, was that the script seemed to perform pantomimic style leaps from one story to another leaving me grasping now and again for which narrative to follow. When the script developed at the end into the interplay between song lyrics between the lovers it sparkled and despite it being slightly clichéd it worked well. Where we had story telling issues between our tellers of the tale, the debate between them was often a little lost.

Our performer was not only skilled but polished in the way he both presented and included us in the performance. Switching between the characters was done with ease whilst the masks carried each gesture and emotion with aplomb. His charm and presence amplified our engagement.

Being in such a small space meant that much of the interplay with the audience and comedy was tightly controlled with technique at its highest level of skill. It was lovely to witness, and the space gave us plenty of opportunity to see it close up, and with a wholly appreciative audience.

Overall, this was quite the masterclass and performed with panache and great care. The storyline may be a familiar one but, for me, I found it difficult over the three acts to hold onto the differing strands.