“There have always been clowns. They will always exist.
Whenever it was necessary, they would rise from the ashes. Appear from memory. They were never touched by time. They are like the grass on the eternal footpaths."
Tristan Rémy (French author, 1897–1977)
A comical intermezzo with Teatro tascabile di Bergamo (Italy)
The excellent Italian theatre, Teatro tascabile di Bergamo, which has visited Holstebro many times, often in connection with the Holstebro Festuge (festive weeks), returns to Holstebro and once again with an exquisite, first-rate performance: The Yoricks. The title refers to the late court jester, Yorick, in Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
The Yoricks, however, contain not only one deceased court jester but have as many as six. They are clowns, but in reality, since they are deceased as with Shakespeare, they are six skeletons - dressed as monks.
During the perfomance they join up with some angels, some lions and a few horses with the special purpose of creating a surreal circus from death. And it all begins with a shoe! Yes, you understood correctly, a shoe that drops out of the nothingness. Or perhaps from a human cloud made up of bombers and war sirens? Or perhaps just from the floor above? In any case it is about a beginning, following in the footsteps of some of history's greatest circus numbers.
The Yoricks is a circus performance of the souls, mixing melancholy, laughter, fear of death and nostalgia. It is a declaration of love to some of the legendary clowns of the past from Foottit and Chocolat to the Fratellini, the great Charlie Rivel and the Colombaioni brothers. In short, a tribute that Teatro tascabile gives to these famous clowns, their history and art.
The performance is also the final part of a trilogy, which has taken form as a long exploration of the concept of Danse Macabre, The Dance of Death. The other two performances in the trilogy are: “Love Never Sleeps. Stories about Capulet and Montague ” (2009) and “Angel Red. Dance for a light traveller” (2004).
As Teatro tascabile writes in their introduction: It was our intention to investigate death in all its aspects: the tragical, dramatical and comical. Possibly because the spirit of the time assumes that theatre has had its day. But we reject that assumption, and as a provocation, we wish to celebrate the glory of theatre in its afterlife and return to the beginning of theatre with laughter. Laughter as theatre's point of beginning.
At the end of the performance, the smiling faces of he actors emerge from their skull masks: in flesh and blood. As they really are. And perhaps in those faces, you will find the purpose of a performance, which begins by announcing that it has neither meaning nor history.