fringe: imperial fizz

imperial fizzYou quickly realise that there's something not quite right with the unnamed, cocktail swilling, barb swapping couple in Imperial Fizz by the Centre for International Theatre.

In fact, they're as wrong as a vodka martini (to paraphrase Her). His tuxedo is covered with dirt, her dress is torn and the hem is stained... so I knew that something horrible had befallen them at some stage before the play opens.

But they certainly don't act as if anything is wrong in their perfect little drawing room world... He (David Calvitto) mixes cocktails, She (Beth Fitzgerald) poses on the chaise longue... and then they start to verbally deconstruct their relationship... and each other.

I'm a huge fan of the old screwball comedies, movies with amazingly snappy dialogue delivered with perfect timing and rapid pacing. Powell and Loy, Tracy and Hepburn, Grant and Hepburn (actually, Katherine Hepburn and just about anybody).

And there are a number of great moments of that here... especially when the two characters take on the characters of other people... the minister, the lawyer, her sister, the best man, the flower girl and my personal favourite, the coat check girl. There are also some beautiful moments where everything he says rhymes and everything she says rhymes... they just don't rhyme with each other.

Most of the dialogue is bright and sharp and quick... even though there are a couple of stumbles over difficult phrases. But I can mostly forgive that since it's only their third performance.

Without giving anything away, I really, really liked the way that it ended and what that meant for the characters.

The bits that worked less well I thought were the two or three song snippets... one about drinks, one about pets and I'm sure there was another but that escapes me right now. But then I'm not a huge fan of songs inserted into my entertainment (unless it's designed that way, like a musical or some kind of cabaret performance).

I also wonder if they had appeared on stage impeccably turned out instead of very obviously on the receiving end of some traumatic event whether the big reveal about what had happened to them would have had more power.

And Calvitto did remind me of a white haired Rowan Atkinson which was tough to shake at first.

Overall though, it's a bubbly little cocktail with a sharp twist of lemon and only the slightest aftertaste of arsenic.

Current Mood:

No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...