These two crazy Canadians (self-proclaimed) have delivered much of the promise of the ancient, theatrical art of Commedia Dell’Arte. This style of theatre, most popular in Italy from the 1400s to the 1800s, involves creating scenarios for stock characters to play within. Typically, the story lines are simple and the dialogue loosely composed to allow for and encourage actors to improvise.
In Tombola!, the story centres around a game of Bingo being played by one of the most fundamental Commedia Dell’Arte characters, Pantalone – an old business man of much wealth but little luck. He contrives to marry his daughter off to Capitano, against her will, to no avail.
The actors are versatile, move gracefully and capture their characters with physical aplomb. They are hampered by a scenario too flimsy and disjointed. And, unfortunately, the huge German Club hall dwarfs the action.
I would love to see this show in a much more intimate space where it would be more able to reach its full potential.