Toulouse pranksters Crida Company were formed in 2006 by Jur Domingo Escofet and Julien Vittecoq, and walk a thin line between absurdist comedy and circus. This is both their strength and weakness.
There are many moments to savour in new show Manana Es Manana, which feel almost like Dadaist art statements- they roll over each other’s bodies; tumble in breathless choreography,shoot ping pong balls endlessly out of their mouths (Where else? Ahem!) and have the graceful skills of silent movie stars.And there are potatoes. So many, many potatoes.
However, a really uncomfortable scene early on featuring the men grabbing and vigorously shaking lone female performer Domingo (essentially little more than a prop here) almost to the point of violence, leaves many wondering just what the point is.It seems entirely unnecessary. Uncomfortable laughter rings out, and there is a tension in the room.Edginess in comedy is one thing; dated misogyny another thing entirely.
Still, she gets her revenge (of sorts) in a bizarre later scene where she ‘shoots’ at the guys with a toy rifle, as though they are ducks in a funfair.It’s sketches like these, and their flipping of cartoon characters, that are most compelling- a little more context and stronger staging would transform such vignettes into a fully-formed show worth investing in.
Photos by Etienne Perra and David Maugendre
Part of Mirabilia Festival, Italy