Dance, physical theatre and circus review: Happy Hour

editorial image
Share this article
0
Have your say

There’s something very likeable about Mauro Paccagnella and Alessandro Bernardeschi, two middle-aged Italians who have been friends for many years.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Summerhall

We know this, because Happy Hour starts with an open address to the audience, during which the men fill us in on some salient points about the show. When they created it (2015), where it’s been performed (Hong Kong, a prison, their adopted home of Brussels) and how long they’ve been dancing (25 and 20 years respectively).

All of which serves to draw us into their world, to bring us closer to the teenagers they once were in 1970s Italy, to understand the shifting political landscape they have witnessed as the decades go by.

Their movement, at turns tender, aggressive and utterly baffling, is punctuated by continued moments of banter, which always raise a smile. It’s also refreshing to see bodies of this age dance, to enjoy their physicality, which is diminished in some ways, enriched in others.

Despite, or perhaps because, of their maturity, there’s a rebellious punk quality to the ­choreography which is unpredictable and, at times, nonsensical. A ­happy hour indeed.

Until 14 August

Click here for more reviews from the Edinburgh Festival

Click here for news from the Edinburgh Festival

Click here for guides from the Edinburgh Festival