Quick! Save the Pizza!

Mon 6th – Sat 18th August 2012


Anwen Jones

at 00:38 on 18th Aug 2012



A play based on the current world economic crisis with the words ‘the world is ending’ may seem more like a Daily Mail article brief than a Fringe theatre performance, and with a supposedly immature title such as ‘Quick! Save the pizza!’ it was with trepidation that I sat down to review Mirror Mirror Theatre Company’s performance.

What was surprisingly funny was that the show did indeed resemble a Daily Mail article but in the most hilarious, comedic and original ways. For example, from behind a black screen appears a rather over-the-top news reporter, informing the audience that Greece and, for that matter, all things Greek are disappearing…literally. What ensues is a creative, energetic and, first and foremost, hilarious account of the world’s financial problems with stereotypical but incredibly entertaining portrayals of the world’s leading politicians. We see Sarkozy (Nadieh Lelieveld) at ‘work’ in the office, surrounded by adoring ladies offering gifts of wine and cheese whilst he exclaims ‘Ah oui, mon petit croissant’; Angela Merkel (Amanda Pearce) on the phone with bags of money on her lap who appears incapable of saying anything other than ‘Ja’ and ‘Nein’; and David Cameron (also played by Pearce) who refuses to start any political work until he, and his whole office, have their own personal cups of tea. In addition, the actors focus on the key stereotypes of countries – Italy and its inability to ever get anything done and China rolling in international offers of land, trade and allies.

It is true that these portrayals are rather clichéd and may therefore demonstrate a lack of originality in regards to the script. However, without truly understanding why, I firmly believe that Mirror Mirror makes them work. Their obvious satirical approach, as well as being irrefutably amusing, has the underlying effect of demonstrating the unwillingness and sheer hopelessness of politicians in such a crisis. Therefore, cue Mirror Mirror’s idea of a solution – two Indian supermen who can fly and freeze-frame respectively whilst enacting various Indian dance moves along the way.

The play is bizarre, the set minimal and the cast small. But for some reason, 'Quick! Save the Pizza!' just works. The cast, all equally strong, work exceptionally well together and it was refreshing to see a group of actors from all over the world creating a piece of theatre which was so entertaining and innovative. I never would have thought I’d smile at a subject like the world economic crisis but, thanks to Mirror Mirror Theatre Company, things seem a little lighter than the dark and gloomy reports we hear so regularly on television and that is something that definitely achieves my admiration. Quite simply, this show is wonderfully different and brilliantly acted – worth a visit if you’re fed up of the usual bad news and want to experience the amazing collaboration of people from all over the world.


Thomas Stell

at 02:46 on 18th Aug 2012



Greece is sinking, and as she sinks her art and her ancient culture is disappearing from all the world. A Spanish football team vanishes halfway through a match and Italy is getting nervous too. Petitions for money go out to Germany, France and Britain and we are shown the conversations between their heads of state that follow.

These leaders are done in caricature, and are I think the most remarkable part of this production. The very best is Sarkozy, preparing to leave office, surrounded by beautiful attendants offering him croissants, wine and cheese. It is important that the cast are not English (they are from several countries, the company being from the London International School of Performing Arts) – they can play the most outrageous national stereotypes quite charmingly: Italians who never work, English tea drinkers, the neutral and apathetic Swiss. Overtly political theatre and rather cruel political comedy are too often done in this country for work like this to be fun if by English performers. The caricatures in 'Quick! Save the Pizza!' are definitely satirical, but they are tremendous fun.

It is due to this then that nothing in the show seems hectoring. It does not sanctimoniously ask us to do something about the economic crisis, it laughs at it. We can make of that what we choose. Nor does it deal with current affairs because of a utilitarian fascination with “relevance”: the first concern of this group is to make a good joke. And, I might add, all kinds of good can be done in the world with a joke.

A few sequences are not as good as others. Two Indian superheroes who take money from the rich nations to give it, or try to give it, to the poor, cease to be funny after a few scenes. In general however this is an extremely successful production.


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