Following last year’s sold-out Infinita, Germany’s mask-theatre virtuosos return with another hit, Teatro Delusio. They successfully bring inanimate masks come to life and develop personalities. The performers wear oversized cartoonish heads that allow for no show of emotion, that way body language becomes the only way to project emotions. The performer’s mannerisms are precise as much as they are varied; just three of them manage to animate all the characters of the performance.
Set backstage in a concert hall as the stage hands go about their daily work, they interact daily with actors, musicians, opera singers, ballerinas and the odd impresario. Using classic slapstick, humour, a bit of conjuring and a hint of the surreal the rivalries, ambitions, passions and dramas of their humdrum existence is revealed as the performances of the concert hall shape and accompany their day.
Dance lovers will enjoy the lampooning of ballerinas and the caricature of the male lead , as much as opera lovers will enjoy the back and forth of the opera divas and divos and the lovers of silent films will laugh out loud with all the scenes that nod to the era of the silent comedies. As for the more cerebral ones they will try to find symbolism behind the eerie scenes with the child-like puppet.
Despite the fact that if feels a little bit too long, because of the loose storyline that only comes together at the very end, Teatro Delusio is a captivating performance for all ages that will entertain you, move you, make you laugh and … slightly perplex you.