Spot by Fabio Mott - Review

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Posted 2021-02-07 by Tricia Ziemerfollow

Fri 29 Jan 2021 - Sun 31 Jan 2021

This was a sell-out show at Theatre Works in Acland Street, St Kilda. I was invited and ended up, luckily for taking photos, on the edge of the performing area with three other media personnel. After the performance, I understood why only floor space was left.

Move over Dino Crocetti, there is another great Italian blooded man who can act, sing, and dance on the international stage. At the end of Fabio Motta's 70-minute performance, with no break, it was an instantaneous standing ovation from absolutely everyone. I believe it was that way for all three performances.

First let us set the stage, literally. Theatre Works has turned from a simple theatre in the round with simple chairs on a wood floor into a lux glam theatre. Yet, another silver lining to our COVID new way of life.

They have erected intimate glass boxes on all four sides of the theatre on stage platforms. Intimate tables and chairs and cushions, to encompass the 1.5 metre spacing requirement, are scattered in the glass boxes. Coloured strip lighting illuminates the boxes, which not only adds to the ambience but comes into play during the show to highlight the comedy of this one man with his multiple personalities performance.

When I first read about this show, I thought, "One man and two personalities between himself and his dog Spot"- single actor shows can be delightful, but tricky, and sometimes go terribly wrong dragging on and on. Not this one. It was fab and Fabio Motta made it so. Who would have thought one man in a spotted dog suit could completely dress a set.

The first thing we see of spot and Fabio is his claws wrapped around the edge of the glass and then time flies with pure fun.
Fabio reveals his story with not two but many of personalities that he has encountered over his lifetime. I lost count after 10.

These are the people who have nurtured, groomed, bullied and sculpted the art in his life and empowered the actor he is today. Each character he brings to life with such credible charm and quick changes that you live and breathe the life of Fabio as he grows up in Australian as an Italian born boy. A migrant. Can't imagine anyone like that in Australia? Oh, wait a minute, every person in Australia except our Indigenous owners. It is a roller coaster of comedy.

Fabio reveals this bittersweet journey of growing up with dinky di Aussies and other peoples in our "supposed" inclusive multicultural society with comic precision.

But just like Spot the dog, Fabio's imaginary alter-ego in the show, the journey has a nasty bark and bite. But it is done with such stunning comic twist and tail wagging, that the sting is all but gone, but the bone strength and growth of a genius actor - Fabio - shines through.

This Spot will not lie down when told to nor does Fabio. Each setback becomes a challenge to succeed in the field he desires more than anything. No, it is not a doctor, not a lawyer, not a bank manager but a Shakespearean actor of world-renowned acclaim. And he has done it and shown us how he did it in this beautifully crafted performance. You are there every step of his journey, feeling his wonder, his bewilderment, his sense of unfair play, his pain, and final success wrapped in comic wit. If he is also the scriptwriter, then he needs a double standing ovation.

The laughter rolled continuously to the wit of Fabio the man and Spot his dog as his story unfolded. It blended many cultures and their humour, Australian, Italian and more. If I had counted the comic quips, I would say 90% of the show had killer comic lines.

And Fabio can adlib "with the best". Here, his natural talent sparks ever higher. I was taking photos and took a photo of him when he was "acting" in the "pretend" toilet. He had already been startled once by his younger self and he missed the toilet, now he was startled twice and I made him miss again. So he turned to me - full Monty - and said, "You want a photo, here I give you a photo. " The audience was in hysterics. After many misses, he was doing the right thing, cleaning it up, so Mamma, did not have to clean it up.

I just could not resist, as a radio DJ, we cannot help a little comic adlib ourselves. I said back, "Love seeing a man do the cleaning". He didn't miss a beat and quipped back again and audience loved it. True Talent. You have shown the world Fabio, you are indeed a Shakespearean actor.

On an aside, personally, I think this could have all been avoided if Mammas would teach their boys to sit to pee. We all need a little sit down break every day, why not make it a toilet break. Then we all have to do a little less cleaning. But then the show, would not have been as so funny!

The only sad thing about this show is that it should not go for just 3 performances. We need more chances to go back, to drag friends and family, to uncover the further depth of humour that you sometimes miss on the first viewing.

Please Spot, come back to us soon. We need encores. If I were a stalker, I would be stalking where this young man is on next, no matter what the show is. Australia, Italy and the world has new talent in Fabio Mario.

If this is just a glimpse of the new talent on display at Theatre Works, I will be booking regularly. Put this theatre on your bucket list. Parking is a bugger, so go early and plan a wee bit of a brisk walk.

!date 29/01/2021 -- 31/01/2021
199503 - 2023-06-16 04:50:42


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