Slapstick stick slapping

If you have ever wondered why a slapstick comedy is so called then look no further than Gilbert Deflo’s production of Prokofiev’s L’Amour des trois oranges recorded by L’Opéra de Paris in 2005.  There’s a great deal of smacking with sticks; most of it by Barry Banks who gleefully whacks just about any bottom, male or female, that comes within range.  The production is also slapstick in the generally understood sense of broad physical comedy.  There are elements of commedia del arte and lots of circus; jugglers, clowns, fire swallowers, all wrapped up in a sort of 20s vamp aesthetic.  It’s wildly chaotic in a rather fun way though it’s all a bit overwhelming and probably worked better in the theatre than on DVD.

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