With its old world clowning charm, Pss Pss will whisk you to the banks of the Seine.
Two clowns bump into each other in a tent, and realise there's a packed house in front of them just waiting to be entertained. The characters start out nervous, trying to appeal to and hide from the audience by turns. They gradually build their confidence, along with the scale of their hijinks, culminating in a dangerous and daring trapeze finale.
Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari's characters brim with wide-eyed naivety. Fassari was particularly charming. The two clearly have fun together, particularly when engaging the audience in some stunts that would have the OHS crews onto them in a heartbeat. Their slapstick antics would make Laurel and Hardy proud.
Their style of clowning seems to have fallen out of vogue in contemporary circus, so in a sense Pss Pss is a refreshing peek in the rearview mirror. They even poke fun at more contemporary styles and movement languages, distracting the audience from 'failed' attempts with a kind of jedi mime trick. Overall, though, the pace does require a fair amount of patience, which some may find tiresome.
Compagnia Baccalà have been touring Pss Pss since 2010, to substantial international acclaim. Maybe I'm a jaded old cynic, but the wonder beholden in the eyes of the packed audience just didn't sparkle into mine.