Some comedians have an indefinable quality. That certain je ne sais quoi. Something you can’t quite put your finger on but you know you like it. Here we go though – I’ll have to try and describe how good Luca Cupani is so I can convince you to get along to see his show before the run ends on Sunday. Oh – and it may be helpful to Luca himself as the big question he’s been pondering of late is ‘who am I?’
To start with – Luca is a class act. But the great thing about being in his company is that you never feel he’s acting. He has trained in the dramatic arts though so he’s either the most brilliantly naturalistic actor ever or he’s just being himself. I suspect the latter.
Open, guileless, refreshingly honest – Luca’s material is always a seamless match with his engaging personality. He’ll start off innocently enough – telling you what he’s been up to in the past year. This time around it’s been getting one of those DNA tests to find out his ethnic origins. Disappointingly – for him – it turns out he’s mostly Italian, with some British and a hint of Kazakhstan. Soon though we’re heading into raunchier territories with nude photo shoots and (sort of) group sex. Although Luca – as usual – isn’t getting any of the action.
Okay – big ticks for material and personality. But here’s the difficult part – trying to define the idiosyncratic beauty of a Luca Cupani show. A lot of it has to do with the structure and the rhythm. It’s a bit like being on one of those fairground rides which starts off gently and gradually picks up speed until you’re being flung (mentally, in this case) in all directions. Slowing down now and again, giving you time to breathe and think: did he really say that? And more to the point – did he really do that?
I’ve been thinking of who Luca reminds me of. Maybe a touch of Roberto Benigni – but with far better control of the manic tendencies. Ultimately though – Luca doesn’t need any comparisons, personality tests or horoscopes to confirm who he is. He’s a gifted story-teller and comedian, and an hour or so in his company is worth any number of introspective workshops and scientific tests.