American Poodle

This production is split into two parts of thirty minutes each. In the first part, Guy Masterson covers the history of the United States, from its discovery in the twelfth century by a Welshman (he was looking for Ireland, but missed) up to the present day, concentrating largely on the War of Independence. The second half has David Calvitto playing the part of an American making his first visit to England for a business trip.

Guy Masterson gives an energetic and fast-moving performance, playing the parts of King George, John Adams, George Washington and several others. He moves rapidly around the stage, even rolling across the floor at one point. He gives a humorous, but accurate, explanation of the causes of the War of Independence and shows how it could have been avoided. He also points out that the rights of the slaves were omitted from the Declaration of Independence, leading eventually to the Civil War and the civil rights movement of the twentieth century. He also draws parallels between the colonists’ resentment against a foreign army and more recent military engagements.

David Calvitto’s act is less successful. He starts off promisingly, talking about the wonders of Heathrow Airport, a taxi that looks like a hearse and the joke that the driver plays of driving on the left hand side of the road. Much of his material is based on the assumption that Americans’ idea of England comes from watching Oliver! and costume dramas on TV; everyone in London walks around writing poems or reciting Shakespeare. It would have been better if he could have been ruder about England and the English.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

Guy Masterson and David Calvitto directed by Peter McNally and John Clancy respectively now dismantle the 'Special Relationship.' A screwball intertwined hybrid of parallel yet twisted thinking from both sides of the pond. Caustic, clever, hyperarticulate and inspired.

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