Live in the Staff Room (Sex, Fairy Tales, Serial Killers and Other Stuff) – Giada Garofalo
There are a fair few shows on the Free Fringe about sex, a few about fairy tales and a handful about serial killers but as far as I know – only one containing all three. When I first noticed the intriguing title I imagined perhaps a late night ensemble theatre piece with lots of white face and moody lighting. What I wasn’t expecting was a charming young Italian woman on her own – no props – no charts – no Power Point – in the tiny and inauspicious surroundings of the Three Sisters Staff Room. So with absolutely no gimmicks can she hold our attention? Oh yes!
Giada Garofalo starts her show with the sex bit and instead of being all nudge nudge wink wink it’s refreshingly open and honest. From looking at pornography to recounting her early memories of learning about female sexuality she’s marvelously matter-of-fact about it all. Particularly interesting is her exploration of the ‘c’ word and how it’s used as an insult in English whereby the Italian equivalent is much more of a compliment. Also thanks to Giada I now know when I’m in Italy not to say how much I love to eat potatoes…
Not so much time is spent exploring the themes of fairy tales and serial killers but what we do get is fascinating. Giada at this point reassures us that just because she’s interested in these subjects she’s not about to turn killer or cannibal. I guess that’s the point she’s making – that we all have dark areas that we can safely visit from time to time. They probably first emerge in childhood with fairy tales and half-truths told to us by adults in order to protect us from reality. The fact that we want to revisit doesn’t mean we’re crazy or evil.
At the start of her show Giada asks if anyone would like to write down a particular fantasy – of course no-one does and she isn’t surprised at our reticence. It doesn’t matter as the trip she takes us on doesn’t need our input. Giada is a natural story-teller with a lovely free-flowing and lyrical style laced with genuine humour. A welcome respite from all the forced desperation on show elsewhere in Edinburgh at this time.
Review for 17 August