Rhum and Clay Theatre Company Presents MISTERO BUFFO
A daring rallying cry for the disenfranchised, Mistero Buffo takes aim at those who manipulate truth and belief for power and control. Rhum and Clay's resonant restaging of Dario Fo's 1969 masterpiece frames the play's central character - a travelling storyteller or 'jongleur'- as a gig economy employee, rushing from his last delivery of the day to recount ancient tales of Jesus and his life. But this clownish figure's versions of Biblical tales aren't anything like you've heard before... Mistero Buffo is a one man tour de force that elevates the voice of the vulnerable over the accepted narratives of power and privilege.
Dario Fo's controversial comic solo draws on mystery plays, originally the theatre of working people. When it was broadcast on Italian TV, the Vatican denounced it as "the most blasphemous show in the history of television".
Nicholas Pitt said, "We have both wanted to do Mistero Buffo together for about ten years, not only for the challenge it sets a solo performer but because it is a text that will always be relevant. It actually isn't an attack on faith or religion but on power structures that use stories and interpretation to control how we think and live our lives. Therefore when we approached it at the end of 2017, finding "our Jongleur" storyteller was always going to be key. The figure of the industrial worker that Fo was writing for may have faded, but has been replaced by a generation of disenfranchised gig economy workers who are told to feel grateful for their 'freedom'."
Rhum and Clay Theatre Company, led by Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells, is an ensemble that shares stories in mischievous and surprising ways: original shows that are inventive, ramshackle and cinematic. They formed the company at l'Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where they learnt their craft. Their previous shows include Testosterone and 64 squares, and they were nominated for the Peter Brook Ensemble Award in 2017.
Nicholas Pitt is a director and theatre maker based in London. He works with writers, theatre makers and musicians to produce work that celebrates live performance, and probes the social and political moment we find ourselves in. Nicholas is also a creative associate with Idle Motion and with them produced several shows performed at the New Diorama (The Vanishing Horizon, That is All You Need to Know, Borges & I, Shooting with Light and Voyager).