Thursday, 13 April 2017

La Strada, Bristol Old Vic

I walked into the theatre on Tuesday night completely unprepared for the spectacular performance that would greet me. I had never heard of La Strada before so was unsure what to expect, but as the night progressed I became more and more engrossed in the plot and found myself loving every minute. A story about a young girl and her interactions with the bitter and twisted Zampano, and a daring fool, and how these two men influence and change her life as she tries to make her way in the hostile world. Played by Audrey Brisson, Gelsamina visibly grew as a character throughout the performance. Her childlike innocence and naivety are brought into the spotlight through a heartwarming portrayal of the character, and a wonderful ensemble cast.

Humour is magically interwoven throughout the performance, creating connections between characters and audience as they lead us through their lives. Even though there were moments I was moved close to tears, there were far more times that I was moved to laughter. It was a light everyday humour, snuck in amongst the heartbreak and pain of the characters as they each struggled with their pasts, presents and futures. From Zampano, the mysterious and bitter strong man, to the fool, crazy, content and accepting, they all brought a touch of humour to the performance.

The music throughout La Strada also amazed me. In particular the songs sung by Tatiana Santini, and Audrey Brisson, two radiant vocalists who brought passion to their music and to the performance. The ensemble work within the production was also incredible. At moments the cast would all move as a unit in order to create the motion of the sea, or the bustling chaos of a crowd.

Whether you're young or old, optimistic or jaded, full of Gelsamina's innocence or scared by experience, this performance will delight you in every-way. An age old tale that remains relevant today, in part due to it's understanding that it's our nature to cherish those who care for us even when it's not necessarily good for us to do so. But also, in part, thanks to a beautifully constructed cast.

La Strada: What the Audience Thought

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