Swann & Company Present: The Sad, Miserable Tale of Albert Belacqua and His Family of Doomed Neurotics

Meet Robert Swann, the talentless writer, director and star of what is possibly the trippiest travesty of a play ever to be seen at a Fringe. The late, drunk arrival of one of the actors at the back of the auditorium causes chaos onstage as the cast fall out of character and argue amongst themselves in true Ricky Gervais style. We learn most of the cast were chosen for their good looks, some of them merely nepotistically, that everyone hates Robert and his play and that the play is actually based on the true story of one of the actresses slightly off-the-wall family.Multiple centres of action throughout and good use of props especially walking sticks and talcum powder constitute the production’s contribution to the Pirandello tradition. A tambourine lurks ominously by Robert’s sister the pianist, who has composed a deliciously awful score for the whole play. From Chopin to Christina Agularia, she always has something studiedly inappropriate to play. Robert himself is a highlight, his bad acting particularly accomplished and always audible.This is exactly the sort of play students should be experimenting with, but this production can’t honestly be described as experimental. Fringe audiences already familiar with meta-fiction and structuralism will find nothing new, nor will they enjoy the repetitious humour once the overall joke has worn thin.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard


Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond


The Blurb

Join Swann & Company for a long day's journey into the dark night of the Belacqua family. Comic antics and terrifying tales. www.theatre.susu.org