Con Chiaccio are an incredibly charming company formed of 10 graduates from Middlesex University whose macabre vaudevillian charm will win over even the most hardened London spirit. In this performance 8 white faced goons revel in the dark imagination of the Brothers Grimm in a patchwork quilt of a show incorporating coral speaking, impassioned reenactments of fairy tale journeys and the odd random silent orchestra performance.
Performed entirely within a cleverly constructed soundtrack which flips from Romanian folk to bizarre Renaissance classical strings with just the right dose of the sinister, they take you by the hand down several loopy passages and into a darkly vibrant performance of these classic tales of which Roald Dahl would be proud. Whether they are the grizzly attacking bear, the brave soldier, the witless Hans, the sweetest house in all the forest or just 8 street urchin clowns, they work as one holistic being made up of 8 definite individuals.
But at the heart of their work is the fact that there is something infinitely enrapturing about plain and truthful storytelling and Grimms is just that. Delighting in all the theatrical tricks known to them they take each word and phrase from these old stories and play and tumble with them like lion cubs, never afraid to snap and bite at one another but never in danger of hunting alone. They are children with the forethought of adults and with every sweet word and grin comes a knowing wink and a look of sin (sorry, didn’t mean that to rhyme) so that all the while one sees a bunch of innocents who know far too much about the world. This makes them delectably attractive to go along with. Give your soul over to Con Chiaccio for 45 minutes but watch out for it or a nimble devil may just grab it from you before their telling is out.
This show was 6th – 8th August at The Roundhouse but find out about future work from the company at www.conghiaccio.com/index.htm
I wrote this piece when I didn’t know that I was going to be going up to Edinburgh with my lovely friend (and children’s book writer – PLUG!) Louise Beere, but I like it so much that I’m going to post it anyway so read on McDuff and the basic premise is the same – Edinburgh in August is fabulous, but London has revealed itself to be just as wonderful:
Edinburgh is calling to me like a long lost lover. Loud and clear over the airwaves, newspaper pages and facebook status updates, everywhere I look the presence of the Edinburgh Fringe haunts me with it’s vibrancy, variety, drinking and surprisingly good weather. Great fun if you’re stuck down in little old London. But not for me the moping of one whose financially straights have caused this enforced separation, no darkened bedrooms and constant stalking of facebook friends who are up there for a bread crumb of the experience. No! Once more into the theatrical breach dear friends, and blow me down what a delectable breach London has to offer in this holiday month.
So far I’ve seen an appallingly lazy production of Dreams of Violence at the Soho Theatre (boyfriends and girlfriends shouldn’t work together if this half arsed attempt is the result) that was great fun to rip apart, a delightful theatrical ditty in the form of Con Ghiaccio’s Grimms, an insightful production of Tis Pity She’s A Whore and an all woman glam rock version of Macbeth. Next up is absurdist comedy Mascha and Vascha, a Butoh inspired performance, Down-A and a one woman show about family loss, Twinless. And all that’s in one week.
There’s just so much choice for a city supposedly put to sleep by the migration of artists to the great Scottish capital and although much of this variety has to do with the punked up Camden Fringe, other great fringe London venues are refusing to be cowed, with the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Hot August Fringe naughtily representing the South in its usual fabulous fashion and The Arcola in Dalston with the delightfully trendy Arcola Grimeborn Festival.
So forgive me Edinburgh if I let my hair down a little in this glorious capital of mine and forget to stay with my head under the covers pining for you; you have my heart, but what’s a girl to do in the face of so much theatrical temptation? I’m off to flirt more with a bit of the London theatre scene and over the next couple of days I’ll be posting the bits that I’ve written for The Camden Voyeur and also The Fringe Review because it may be repetition but it’s what I’ve been writing this month and this poor blog oh mine has frankly been looking quite neglected.