|Thursday 15 June 2017 @ 07:00pm : -
Rude Mechanical Theatre Co - The Commercial Traveller
2017 Summer Outdoor Tour - The Commercial Traveller.
It is London, 1924, and rich and powerful tycoon and former East End barrow boy, Sir Arthur Cattermole, is not happy. His son, Gerald, whom he has spent his hard earned brass on to go to Eton, is in love with the girl next door, the beautiful Isabelle and daughter of hard up doctor, Cornelius Truss.
Love is a bunch of roses! Money is the thing!
So he sends Gerald to Africa to look after his cocoa business. The young lovers, of course, are heartbroken. The days pass like falling leaves and after a year no letters have come from Gerald. Isabelle is convinced he doesn’t love her anymore, or has found someone else, so decides she will become a nun. But the widowed doctor’s housekeeper, Elsie, who has virtually mothered Isabelle, has a plan. She knows a kind, good, gentle man, a commercial traveller, who will marry Isabelle and once married Sir Arthur will have no reason to keep Gerald away. Of course, Isabelle will have none of it at first, but Elsie persuades her mistress to trust her – that this complex knot of impossibilities will be unravelled. She will eventually be happy.
Then shockingly Elsie disappears into the London fog and is apparently found dead. Her devoted husband, Albert, Sir Arthur’s butler, is devastated. A month passes and the commercial traveller, Cecil Cornford, does indeed turn up and marries Isabelle – and then, apparently too late to marry her himself, Gerald returns from Africa incognito. His letters had been intercepted and he does still love her. Albert sets about unpicking the knot and bit by bit it is unravelled.
Funny, romantic and moving the play demonstrates the gritty determination to overcome an apparently unassailable problem through absolute love.
New theatre inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte
Buy tickets here: https://app.etickets.to/buy/?e=14843
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.
"Commedia dell'arte – the tradition that gave us Mr Punch and the foundations of pantomime – is a rare discipline, even in Italy. But the Rudes have made it their own" ~ Jenny Gilbert, The Independent
"It's a pleasure to see a company so expertly making good 21st century theatre firmly based in an old art form which is such an important strand in the history of our industry" ~ The Stage Magazine