Liverpool Playhouse (30th October – 3rd November 2007)
Written by Carol Ann Duffy and Told By An Idiot

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This new stage version of Casanova sees him cast as a woman, and almost approaches pantomime-like dimensions with its slapstick comedy and general mayhem created by the characters involved.

Told By An Idiot artistic director Hayley Carmichael plays the philandering Casanova, seemingly relishing enacting the role with a tongue in cheek style.

The production, with staging lifted from Fellini's version of Casanova, contains many surreal moments, for example, when she has a fish supper in Glasgow with a man dressed as a woman with a very broad Scottish accent, or when, after giving birth to a child, has it adopted by the King of England, George III (Martin Hyder).

Other bizarre happenings occur when she inspires Voltaire (Hyder again) in his writings while he is seated in a deck chair, and collaborates with Mozart (Catherine Marmier) in his composition of music.

One particular hilarious incident involved the swooning of a raging bull, with a tin bucket representing its head, at the feet of Casanova, who stroked the bucket as if it was a puppy dog.

The play could have contained a lot of sexual content, given the subject matter, but it would have turned it into a complete parody of the legendary figure.

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