Reviewed by Paula Citron
Compagnia Scimone Sframeli
Written by Spiro Scimone
Directed by Carlo Cecchi
Featuring Francesco Sframeli and Spiro Scimone
Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs
Mar. 15 to 19, 2011
The theatre component of Canadian Stage’s mini-festival Spotlight.Italy is Compagnia Scimone Sframeli based in Messina, Sicily.
Spiro Scimone wrote the play Nunzio in the Messinese dialect, and he performs the two-hander with Francesco Sframeli. Carlo Cecchi, one of Italy’s grand masters, directed the play. He has ensured that tension reigns.
The language has been compared to that of Beckett and Pinter, and the comparisons are certainly there. The two characters called Nunzio and Pino seem to live in a world of their own. We never find out exactly what the relationship is.
Nunzio (Sframeli) seems on the simple side, and is in denial about a fatal cough he has developed working at a factory. Pino (Scimone) appears to be a paid assassin.
The setting is a kitchen, and in this place of domesticity and mundane conversation, a fascinating subtext of control develops.
Nunzio continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Saturday. The company opens its second play La Festa next Tuesday, Mar. 22.