If you have never seen a clown show, or the very words strike terror into your heart, I dare you to go and resist the charms of Pss Pss. The Baccalà clown duo is masters of their craft and sure to convert you from Coulrophobia to Clownophilia.
Pessi and Fassari seem diminutive on entering into the voluminous emptiness of Zoo Southside’s main stage. This, coupled with their understated costumes, greyish make-up and deceptively gentle beginning, gives an air of the absurd and I feel we may be treated to an exchange à la Beckett. By the end of the show, these pint-sized performers have filled the entire space, including the auditorium, with their antics and terrifyingly brilliant acrobatics.
Pessi in particular has an irresistible charm with her insect-like physique and enormous eyes, which so succinctly express her fluctuating emotional state. There is also some fabulously awkward dancing, vaguely reminiscent of The Office, which once discovered, like all of the gestures they find to encourage themselves, reappears at hysterically well-timed intervals.
Part of the joy of watching them is their uninhibited childlike desire for contact and for play, often very simply communicated through outstretched arms. And even though the show has been toured and performed for over four years, they are so in the present moment that each game, object and distraction appears new to them. An upside down ladder becomes a musical instrument and ship’s steering wheel, before they remember what they wanted it for in the first place.
This is a show of delightful one upmanship between a pair of awkward friends, who unashamedly share their feelings as they occur. Baccalàclown are also at the peak of their game, as most clearly illustrated in their nail-biting play fight on a trapeze. The real danger is that you might miss the experience. Go, go and buy your ticket now.