Cartoon de Salvo, Ladies and Gentlemen, Where am I?

Review in Issue 15-2 | Summer 2003

‘Ladies and Gentlemen…’ tells the story of a young gypsy, in the days of travelling boxing contests in Victorian England, who supports his family by boxing. He fights not to win but to lose, to take a dive, and though he earns good money he has no self-respect and so is an embarrassment to his sick old mother and nubile sister.

Cartoon de Salvo’s fifth and newest show is a simple, imaginative and truly funny piece of theatre that sticks in the imagination. Setting the scene by dragging the audience around the BAC, two dodgy misshapen boxing promoters finally lead you to your seats, giving you tips on the coming contest. There are moments of inspired silliness, like making the audience come down to the stage and pretend to be cats, so as to gull a nosy policeman that we are not at an illegal boxing match; no, we are cats at a perfectly legal cat gathering.

The tone of this show, as a whimsical romp with songs, was very reminiscent of the Rejects Revenge show Peasouper. It is Cartoon de Salvo’s use of songs, accompanied by a mandolin, which adds a touch of the music hall, giving an old-fashioned feel to a modern clowning style of storytelling. The actors perform their characters with a twinkle of pleasure in their eye and a lightness of touch in the detail. Even if the emotional punch of the story is lightweight, the result is a hilarious and very entertaining bout of visual and comic theatre.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-2
p. 28