To pay for a trip to Venice, they would have to "screw half of South America", reckons one of the whores in the remote Argentinian brothel that forms the setting in Venecia. It's a short piece but, with droll calculation, it seems to take all the time in the world to build to its eventual haunting, poetic climax. The sultry patio of a whorehouse in the middle of the outback is in no danger of being mistaken for a high-powered intellectual salon and the play, appealingly translated by the director and Alison Gordon, manages to make affectionate fun of the unhurried pace of mental activity in this cut-off world, while also gently highlighting the economic destitution. A very funny study in misplaced macho conceit, Vincenzo Nicoli's paunchy, moustachioed Chato swaggers in with a little borrowed electric organ as though this humble gadget was up there with a Cadillac in the penis-enhancement stakes.

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Venecia / Jorge Accame ; English version by Rebecca Gatward and Alison Gordon.



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