Review: Don Giovanni’s Emporium of Salami and Origami

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80%
80
Ridiculous

A well thought-out whirlwind of hilarity.

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“Eyy, I’m walkin’ here!”

With their performance of Don Giovanni’s Emporium of Salami and Origami, SUSUs ComedySoc managed to bring to life the otherwise dull space they occupied in the Education Building with an impressively witty sketch about an Italian mobsters’ rather self-explanatory business venture.

The plot of the sketch is centred around the dwindling business of Don Giovanni and his children, taking on a financial advisor in their struggle to promote the essential commodities of salami and origami in opposition to the feared ‘Chorizo Boys’, controlled by Don Giovanni’s newfound enemy, Mr Lidl. In their quest to keep their business alive; the trusting nature of Frankie, Don’s youngest, leads to the death of their financial advisor, taking a hit on the health of Mr Giovanni himself, sending him to an early grave.

The addition of a salami maker as a murder weapon provides a puzzling concept, for sure, but a well-thought-out whirlwind of hilarity was to ensue.

Seeming to be constructed largely for lovers of puns, witticisms and surprises, Ben Hughes’ writing did not disappoint and the well-timed humour of jokes making you want to groan combined with a dark undertone of wit sent a small room of people into tears of laughter continuously throughout the evening. What was particularly impressive was the execution of cleverly constructed cultural jibes portrayed throughout with Don Giovanni and his ‘boys’, the ‘Chorizo Boys’ and consistent references to the Japanese Yakuza; this risky humour, combined with stereotypes so ridiculously outrageous pulled through well in the atmosphere of student comedy.

This was only accentuated by the impressive characterisation taken on by each of the cast members, particularly Anand Sankar in the role of the Italian mobster Don Giovanni himself, driven to insanity through the loss of his late wife, the stupidity of his children and the impending doom of his business lost to the Chorizo boys.

Having seen the previously unabridged version earlier in the year, I was particularly looking forward to seeing the sketch in all its glory. Despite losing somewhat of its prior snappiness, and some struggles for lines with cast member interruptions and slips, the entire plot and execution was really quite impressive for a student-comedy sketch show, and with the addition of an incredibly dynamic car chase sending the audience roaring, with seamless cast transitions and the employment sounds made by other characters made the need for props and synthetic sound effects entirely redundant in the scene, however these were employed throughout the sketch; in particular to pay continuous reference to the Yakuza.

With such an original, strangely investing and compelling tale, I’d be more than happy to watch this in its development at a professional Comedy festival.

An utterly bizarre, but thoroughly enjoyable experience.

 

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