More on The lazzi

More on The lazzi

These routines often needed to be very well rehearsed, because otherwise someone could get hurt, as the routines involved a lot of physical comedy.

Some typical lazzi were:
  • Lazzo of the chase: With a drawn sword, the Captain chases Coviello. They remain on the stage in a stationary position as they mime running, each slightly out of reach of the other. As they run, each begins to acknowledge the audience’s response
  • Lazzo of the chairs: Brandino is guarding Ottavio as they both sit in chairs. Attempting to escape, Ottavio moves his chair slightly. Brandino follows. Ottavio drags his chair halfway across the stage with Brandino in pursuit. They smile at each other as the bid to escape continues
  • Lazzo of the luggage: Arriving in the city, the Captain and Burattino both carry heavy luggage. The Captain asks Burattino if he can hold onto his luggage for a minute and starts to walk away. Burattino replies that he has to tie his shoe and gives the Captain all the luggage, who promptly throws it back at Burattino
  • Lazzo of looking everywhere and finding nothing: Zanni is asked to find an object or person right in front of him. Looking everywhere but at that spot, Zanni announces that it’s not there
  • Lazzo of learning French: The inamorata is learning French (or any other language) from an instructor, and every word which she is taught sounds like a swear word, appalling her. Shakespeare used this lazzo in Henry V Act 3 Scene 4 where the French Princess Katharine is learning English and is offended at being taught words like 'foot' and 'gown' which sound obscene in her own language.
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