Review: The Servant of Two Masters, Library Theatre

0
Have your say

Tudor Players presented Carlo Goldoni’s classic eighteenth century Italian farce, adapted by Lee Hall.

Tudor Players presented Carlo Goldoni’s classic eighteenth century Italian farce, adapted by Lee Hall.

Clarice’s lover, Frederico, puts a spanner in the works when he rises from the dead to claim her hand in marriage. Silvio is none too pleased since he is engaged to Clarice. Florindo is confused as he slew Frederico. Of course, Frederico is in fact Beatrice, Florindo’s lover and the late Frederico’s sister. Confused? Don’t worry. Let Truffaldino sort things out.

Truffaldino, played by Ross Bannister, is the eponymous central character and the best actor in the play. He foolishly takes on two masters in order to earn a bit more cash and food.

In one slapstick scene he is serving food to his masters, Beatrice and Florindo, simultaneously without them realising they are staying in the same inn.

Bannister delivers his dialogue in a straight fashion but there is lots of physical comedy and talking to the audience when things go wrong.

Conversely, Silvio, played by John Moran and Clarice, (Emma O’Neill) speak their lines as upper class aristocratic caricatures. Their high squeaky voices are reminiscent of Blackadder and Monty Python.

Hall’s script is exceedingly witty. Rod Duncan as Dr Lombardi is a good example of this. He keeps talking to and walking away from Clarice’s dad, Pantaloon in the manner of TV detective, Columbo, stopping short of actually saying, “and another thing”.

Fran Larkin is also on good form as Beatrice/Frederico. Phil Gascoyne’s direction deftly brings out the humour in this unusual style of play.

Stephen Grigg