29 October 1998
Thanks to Allison Potts for sending me this!
"I've been a fan since I saw Ennio in Dublin, where we were recording the
Chorus album. Our producer Martin Ware knew about him and invited us to
the show and to meet him afterwards. I was already intrigued because I'd
seen his posters, one of which had him wearing a Marilyn Monroe
candyfloss-coloured paper wig. I knew I'd like him instinctively and the
show was great.
What he does is mime, which is a dying art - and he has a childlike
sensibility. It reminds me of going to the seaside and putting your head
through the holes of those cut-out boards with funny bathing costumes
painted on and having your photograph taken. It also reminds me of playing
old card games such as Snap and Old Maid. Its all based on a simple idea
but one that's natural for him because he's from Venice, the home of mask
and mime. He draws costumes on paper and then he has fun. When he comes
on he's got soundbites of music and talking tracks and you can't see that
he's wearing reams of costumes. Meanwhile he tears them off one by one and
changes before your eyes - all very seamless and surreal.
The people he does are instantly recognisable but he surprises you because
you want to predict the next artist yet he never does the expected. I
suppose it's a metamorphosis but it's really magical. Ennio makes people
laugh and go: wow! When he toured with Erasure in Germany and America,
whenever I saw him he cheered me up. You can't help laughing because he
reminds you of being a kid. His skills are great. He's a contortionist
with mouth, tongue and body.
His most incredible trick is a Mona Lisa and a lion that turns into Tina
Turner. I've also heard of the Godzilla who shares a body with Keith Flint
from the Prodigy, but I haven't seen that. He's never done me and Vince;
we're not notorious enough. In person Ennio's a shy man who doesn't speak
much English but backstage I've always felt honoured to meet him. Not in a
cliquey way but because someone practising that kind of art is very rare
Ennio Marchetto is appearing at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith Mon 2-Sat 21
November. (0181 741 2311)