Pathos: Can You Kill for Love?

Fri 1st – Sat 9th August 2014


Anna Grace Symington

at 01:28 on 5th Aug 2014



Utterly unlike anything this reviewer has seen at the Fringe before, Pathos: Can You Kill For Love? is a masterpiece of its kind. Taking the theme of murder in the name of love, director Ester Montalto has created a fascinating piece of art that is at once beautiful and terrible.

The performance makes use mainly of mime and masks but also incorporates dance. It is divided into six scenes which each feature, at the centre, two characters - a male part and a female part. This provides the foundations necessary to explore the psychology behind the passionate and jealous lover. Massamilliano Angioni and Fransesco Saitta play the parts of these two characters, entering each scene in different simple guises and portraying the interactions between two lovers at various stages in a relationship. Each scene contains an element of jealousy which suggests it is a universal feature of romance. The scenes work together to reach a tragic climax that wonderfully capitulates one's fragility when it comes to love.

There are no spoken words in this play but some almost distinguishable mumblings in a variety of languages, including French, are used as a form of communication between the characters at points. The decision not to use spoken words intensifies the importance of the physical - appropriate in a play about passion - and gives the piece a universality that raises it above other productions.

Music also plays an important part in this production. With Italian, French, Spanish, Mongolian and Thai influences, to name just a few, the intensity of the experience is held up by the excellently selected music. Each piece is redolent of the passion of its country of origin. Having the whole spectrum again gives the play universality. This is not just a play about Italian lovers but about lovers of the world.

Angioni and Saitta both give impressive performances. Their grace and athleticism make each movement precise and meaningful. Without words it quickly becomes evident how much is said with the body alone. Angioni and Saitta are able to communicate such a range of meanings that if feels at times as if they really are speaking to one another.

Pathos: Can You Kill For Love? brings something awe inspiring to the Fringe. It's only here until 9th August so don't miss the opportunity to see this exquisite performance.


Ellie Taylor

at 03:43 on 5th Aug 2014



Ester Montalto’s Pathos was without a doubt the most bizarre show that I have seen so far this Fringe, or come to think of it - ever. Matched only in its bizarreness by its brilliance, I recommend this show to any Fringe-goer that would like to try something entirely different. It is remarkable how much feeling can be portrayed in a show without speech: through a clever combination of movement, masks and music the audience are convinced that what they are witnessing is genuine. Actors Massimiliano Angioni and Francesco Saitta join on stage and almost immediately have unparalleled chemistry.

Opening with an on-screen barrage of headlines portraying the violent crimes of jealous lovers in a range of different languages, the audience are introduced to the performance’s overarching topic. Already one of the main points of the piece is established: that jealousy can come from anyone, anywhere. This is something that is consistently maintained throughout the performance, be that a feeling that young and innocent children have or the strangely similar if slightly more complex feelings that come with adulthood.

The concept of universality is also maintained through Montalto’s choice to use two male actors, which was a decision that turned out to be ingenious and interesting in equal parts. No matter which actor is playing the female role at any given point, the feelings they experience do not differ, and as a result the finger of blame cannot be pointed anywhere specific. Angioni and Saitta quickly demonstrate that this bold choice was definitely the right decision.

A highlight of the show was during the fifth scene, during which some extremely odd audience interaction is adopted. This largely consists of a masked man - playing a woman - flirting with a large proportion of the audience. Obviously, this works to create some of the jealously that fuels the action of the play, but it was nonetheless surreal to be propositioned by a faceless mime, and not an experience that I will forget. Such behavior inevitably leads to violence, which was brilliantly choreographed and deeply upsetting. The solitary figure of the abused woman was both poignant and powerful. The audience does not have to wait long for the figure of the abused man, which was no less powerful - and falls in line with the show's deliberate blindness to gender.

It would take more than one review to convey the complexities of the play, so instead I advise that you simply go to see it. With jealous lovers being thoroughly covered theatrical ground, writers are hard-pushed to find an original way to express this familiar trope, but Montalto certainly succeeded in this. Simply put, talent abounds in both the writing and the acting of this performance.


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