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Commedia dell’arte & other influences

Since we first hit the road in 1999 The Rudes have gradually evolved into our own ‘brand’. This is partly because we have allowed different but related ‘historic’ influences to mould us and partly because actors who bring their own skills have become part of ‘the family’. What we have created together has bit by bit stuck and become part of us. After a love lasting forty years of the great Italian Mediaeval and Renaissance theatre tradition, the commedia dell’arte, our artistic director, founder and writer, Pete Talbot, went to train in Italy with the commedia maestro Antonio Fava. The seeds of our style were sown.

Commedia parodia

We have never wanted however just to take the stock characters & stories off the shelf & recycle them. That is at best an intesting form of ‘museum theatre’. It has always been our intention to create new theatre for contemporary audiences – and to find our own style to perform it. This kind of development of the tradition we call commedia parodia.

Commedia remains a massive influence and broad aspects of the style remain key to our work, but we have had other influences too (most of which it has to be said were also influenced by the commedia), such as pantomime, the English music hall, the American Vaudeville, historic travelling mountebanks & medicine shows, even the ballet (which itself learnt a lot of movement from the innamorati of the commedia dell’arte) and, of course, silent movie.



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