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Thursday 19 June 2014 @ 07:00pm :  -
Rude Mechanical Theatre Co - The Wife


What do women really want? Well there’s a question! Is there one man who has not asked it? Alyson, a wife from Bath is travelling to Canterbury on a pilgrimage and describes with hilarious outcomes the five men who have shared her marriage bed. Then she tells the story of a young knight called Roland who having ravished a young maiden is forced, in order to avoid being put to death for his crime, to undergo a test and search the world for an answer to the question: What is it that women most desire? With his stupid but innocent servant Dogrose, he encounters a series of marriage relationships and asks each of the women the question. It seems none of them agree – until finally he encounters an old crone and she tells him the true answer, but only on condition he will do anything she asks of him. The play comes dramatically to a conclusion as the answer is revealed. Hilarious and provocative, but also tender and deeply poetic, the play digs deeply into the nature of love and marriage relationships.

The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company

The touring Company was founded in 1997, after seven years as a community based theatre company in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Creative Director Pete Talbot, is a former teacher, who trained in commedia dell''arte with the maestro Antonio Fava at the Scuola Internazionale dell''Attore Comico in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The shows - which are inspired by and deeply rooted in the commedia - are aimed at adults but enjoyed by all ages and are performed both indoors and outdoors. The cast is composed of professional physical theatre actors and actor-musicians trained in mime, clown or commedia. Most members of our team are also musicians, and our original music live music is integrated with the action.

The acting style uses large comic and often acrobatic movement and physical jokes called lazzi and burli, much of it part of a tradition which is hundreds of years old, but using Pedrolino style white faces - pantomime blanche (rather than leather masks) - and bright coloured vibrant ''cartoon-ised'' costumes. We literally use the slapstick or battoccio, but our work is not ''merely slapstick''. Poetic solutions to storytelling are never far away and through mime, ''sound texturing'' and devices of our own we are constantly looking to exploit the poetic, fantastic and absurd. We are not a ''heritage'' company - either English or Italian. We use tools from the tradition - as and when we see fit - to produce new work. Fava calls this use of tradition to create contemporary work commedia parodia.