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Thursday 18 June 2015 @ 07:00pm :  -
Rude Mechanical Theatre Co - The Comedy of Babi Babbett


The Rudes treat us to their seventeenth summer of outdoor theatre, comedy, mayhem and live music on Thursday 18th June. The Comedy of Babi Babbett is set in Islington in 1793 and is an out and out farce in the classic commedia dell''arte style and probably the funniest of all our plays.

“Rich men are very attractive. There''s nothing so romantic as the creak in the moonlight of a chequebook opening.”

Miserly widower and gold merchant, Sydney Lean, receives some sausages by mistake from Philomila Taureaumerde, the wife of a hard up doctor, who with Philomila frequently comes to Lean''s house for cards. In his foolishness he assumes them to be a proclamation of her affection, so he writes her a love poem. He leaves the task of delivering it to his incompetent servant Babi who, of course, fails to give it to her. In the meantime the charlatan Captain Guarderobe, an apparent hero of the French Revolution, is attempting to seduce both Philomila and Lean''s daughter, Isabella. Taureaumerde finds out and all roads lead to The Golden Cockerel Chocolate House, where Fosca, in the guise of a French assassin, who has been menacingly stalking the stage with a bomb in his bag, is waiting.

"Side-splitting hilarity leading to a shocking and explosive ending" ~ The Independent on Sunday

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.