La Strada
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Wednesday 15th February 2017

Based on the script work from the 1954 Oscar winning film by Federicob Fellini, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli, La Strada focuses on Gelsomina’s (Audrey Brisson) journey as she travels with strongman Zampanò (Stuart Goodwin) after learning about her sister Rosa’s death, to which she travelled with Zampanò in the past, so he asks if Gelsomina will take her place.

With the whole cast and ensemble made up of actor/musicians, this production of La Strada is a breath of fresh air to see such phenomenal talent on stage, and same must be said for the rusty and authentic look at the set, which really pulls you into the action on stage. Audrey Brisson is beautiful and the naive and tender Gelsomina, who completely steals the scenes that she appears in, whilst Bart Soroczynski wows the audience in his portrayal as Il Matto (The Fool), especially at the start of the second act, where he comes through the audience, onto the stage, and rides a unicycle manically around the space which such a controlled ease, a natural professional considering Soroczynski’s training at Quebec’s Contemporary Circus and his work with Royal Shakespeare Company.

The music in this production is angelic and beautiful thanks to the extensive talents from the whole company, and the ensemble are incredible with their constant dedication to their roles and the synchronicity in their movements when walking around the stage as a crowd. An example at just how realistic they create the atmosphere in a scene is when their controlled clicking sounded so authenticity like raining hitting the floor, or another where five or six performers where moving backwards in unison to create the feel of a huge crowd of people. The timing towards this production was so pivotal when changing from one scene to another, but after having seen a recent production of Peter Pan, to which Sally Cookson's also directed as well as La Strada, I had high expectations for this production, and I was not let down as one scene that involved Zampanò teaching Gelsomina the early stages of her routine turned instantly into her performing a wedding thanks to the snap of a cloth on table and the ensemble to unison creating this magical scene thanks to the timing of the whole company involved.

Overall, La Strada is a beautiful piece of theatre that I would recommend to anyone with an imagination to allow themselves to really enjoy this astounding production filled with love and dedication from everyone involved in the creative teams.


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