Andrew Buckland’s brilliant satire unsettles some

2010-09-20 00:00

Review: Mistero Buffo

COMBINING the tradition of Italian medieval performance traditions with political and religious satire, Mistero Buffo is the kind of theatre that challenges the audience. And for some of the theatre-goers in the Memorial Hall at Hilton College yesterday, it clearly proved to be a challenge they didn’t want to meet.

At least six people left as Andrew Buckland got going with the first of three skits. The subject matter was the child Jesus performing his first miracle — turning clay birds into rea­l ones that were able to fly, before turning an annoying rich bully into a piece of terracotta for spoiling his fun.

Whether it was the complete irreverence with which he approached the subject matter or the misuse of the Lord’s name that got to those who left, they also missed one of South Africa’s best actors having a go at Pope Boniface, who enjoyed terrorising monks, and the landed gentry’s treatment of the peasantry who worked for them.

Mistero Buffo is both funny and outrageous and clearly demonstrates Buckland’s brilliance at physical theatre.

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