The Evening Standard's Hot Tickets Magazine

29 October 1998

Thanks to Allison Potts for sending me this!

 

Andy Bell of Erasure on ... Ennio Marchetto

"I've been a fan since I saw Ennio in Dublin, where we were recording the

Chorus album. Our producer Martin Ware knew about him and invited us to

the show and to meet him afterwards. I was already intrigued because I'd

seen his posters, one of which had him wearing a Marilyn Monroe

candyfloss-coloured paper wig. I knew I'd like him instinctively and the

show was great.

 

What he does is mime, which is a dying art - and he has a childlike

sensibility. It reminds me of going to the seaside and putting your head

through the holes of those cut-out boards with funny bathing costumes

painted on and having your photograph taken. It also reminds me of playing

old card games such as Snap and Old Maid. Its all based on a simple idea

but one that's natural for him because he's from Venice, the home of mask

and mime. He draws costumes on paper and then he has fun. When he comes

on he's got soundbites of music and talking tracks and you can't see that

he's wearing reams of costumes. Meanwhile he tears them off one by one and

changes before your eyes - all very seamless and surreal.

 

The people he does are instantly recognisable but he surprises you because

you want to predict the next artist yet he never does the expected. I

suppose it's a metamorphosis but it's really magical. Ennio makes people

laugh and go: wow! When he toured with Erasure in Germany and America,

whenever I saw him he cheered me up. You can't help laughing because he

reminds you of being a kid. His skills are great. He's a contortionist

with mouth, tongue and body.

 

His most incredible trick is a Mona Lisa and a lion that turns into Tina

Turner. I've also heard of the Godzilla who shares a body with Keith Flint

from the Prodigy, but I haven't seen that. He's never done me and Vince;

we're not notorious enough. In person Ennio's a shy man who doesn't speak

much English but backstage I've always felt honoured to meet him. Not in a

cliquey way but because someone practising that kind of art is very rare

these days."

 

Ennio Marchetto is appearing at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith Mon 2-Sat 21

November. (0181 741 2311)