Actor David Calvitto enters centre stage under a lone spotlight and begins to narrate himself, describing his own movements and behaviours. It’s meta-theatre, which he even jokes about, and it becomes clear that there will be no narrative here. Instead, The Event is a show about shows. And maybe more.
Throughout, Calvitto makes clever and witty observations about theatrical conventions (the audience’s behaviour, role of the crew, the language of lighting etc.). It doesn’t feel like a lecture, though. The performer is charming enough to make us laugh. On one hand, his comments might seem cynical or jaded. On the other, it’s a surreptitious adoration of theatre; an illustration of how the magic works: time changes in the dark space, we feel more connected to one another, we escape reality, and we are soothed.
Amidst a festival of hundreds of shows, The Event acts as a mental palette cleanser. It’s easy to become numb at the Fringe, but this show reminds us of the countless tricks and illusions that we’ve become blind to. Sometimes it veers off in complex directions offering ruminations on technology, time, and nostalgia. This makes the impact feel less taut, but it is all connected to the central idea: the power of in-person theatre and what it could symbolise on a grander scale.
Despite a couple of falters in Calvitto’s line-delivery and a risky joke about gender, The Event is a fascinating piece of theatre, taking an unconventional approach to holding an audience’s attention and probing interest concepts of life’s meanings and illusions.