Online via Scenesaver
Reviewed – 28th September 2020
“a short but sweet slice of silliness that’s guaranteed to brighten up your day”
The world isn’t a very fun place right now. Every headline brings new misery, every authority figure seems to be deeply corrupt, and wearing a bit of cloth on your face has become the political debate of the century. It can all feel totally exhausting and overwhelming but luckily, Entrée is the perfect antidote to that.
Originally performed in September 2019, Entrée is finding new life on Scenesaver, and deservedly so. This 40 minute clowning show sees José Pedro Fortuna’s bumbling persona attempt to deliver a variety act to the audience, only for every possible imaginable aspect to go wrong – costume, set, props, light, and sound all conspire against him while he tries to plough ahead in earnest. The comedy here has drawn on the same influences as the likes of Mr Bean and The Play That Goes Wrong – if you’re a fan of that style, you’ll find a lot to love here.
Fortuna’s charm and commitment carries the performance exceptionally well – director Hilary Ramsden strikes the perfect balance between making the audience root for him, but also leaving them perfectly happy to laugh at him as everything goes awry. Fortuna brings a wonder to the character as he stumbles upon each bit, blurring the line between what’s been meticulously set up and what’s improvised on the fly, bringing a joyous sense of unpredictability to the show.
And some moments certainly must’ve required meticulous setup – despite coming across as a fool, Fortuna cleverly uses this to dupe the audience with magic tricks, employing sleight of hand and misdirection to put the character in deeper misfortune through smart developments on running gags, such as his bowtie continually falling off, only for him to accidentally make it disappear when he actually needs to use it.
Not every gag lands, and some moments feel a bit too obvious in their structure, but overall Ramsden and Fortuna have crafted something utterly gleeful – a short but sweet slice of silliness that’s guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Reviewed by Ethan Doyle
Photography Matthew Stevens
Online via Scenesaver
Previously reviewed by Ethan: