The Great Caruso

An engaging storyteller with a pleasing tenor voice Ignacio Jarquin delivers this one man, one-hour piece with enormous warmth.

Lynne Mortimer

Pulse Festival: Quake by Andrew G Marshall at the Wolsey Studio, Tuesday, June 3.

An engaging storyteller with a pleasing tenor voice Ignacio Jarquin delivers this one man, one-hour piece with enormous warmth.

We meet Enrico Caruso, the world famous Italian opera singer, as he perches on a tea chest on the dockside in San Francisco harbour, waiting for a ferry to take him away from the devastation of the 1906 earthquake.

He recounts the story of how the quake struck when he was in his hotel room after a performance of Carmen at the opera house.

He and his manservant Gilbert are woken up when the hotel begins to shake violently. The two men manage to escape the building before it collapses and make their way through the stricken, burning city to the water front where the diminutive man dubbed The Great Caruso waits for a boat to ferry him away from the choking dust that threatens to affect his precious vocal chords.

Most Read

It is an undemanding piece of theatre which nonetheless holds the audience's interest from its beginning to its twist-in-the-tale end. Jarquin rolls his 'r's exotically and introduces us to a self-obsessed Caruso and a loyal but sardonic Gilbert.

We follow the two men through the ruins of the city as they encounter death and destruction on every street. Along the way, we learn of Caruso's journey from the poor tenements of Naples to the glittering heights of operatic super-stardom. He shows us the signed photograph President Theodore Roosevelt gave him in exchange for a quick aria.

As Caruso witnesses the human tragedies left in the wake of the earthquake he starts to realise there are bigger losses than a dressing room full of costumes.

Lynne Mortimer

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter