“Away, away. Come away with me…”, this is how Filippo Spreafico’s solo show Stay for One More begins: he is sitting behind a keyboard playing an English rendition of Via con me, the Paolo Conte classic. Curiously enough the lyrics that he changes are the only ones in English of the original song: “It’s wonderful” becomes “I am a vagabond”. This summons up Filippo himself and recalls the other show that he is performing at the Fringe 2018: Vagabonds of Comedy, with his stage-companion Frank.

We met Filippo in a small Italian café at the top of Leith Walk, he shows up on time; rolling down the street aboard his scooter, today he is wearing a pastel pink suit, with a tie and braces over a white shirt. Stay for One More does not run on Wednesdays, so he is not in his classic turquoise suit. It is impossible not to notice how he resembles Enzo Jannacci, one of the greatest Italian songwriters and comedians. It must be more of a coincidence as, just like Jannacci’s, Filippo’s show is built on piano-cabaret and nonsense.

Filippo Spreafico comes from a small town in northern Italy that he left when he was 18, having always had a noticeable artistic side he decided to relocate to the UK. He spent 5 years in London before moving to Berlin where he worked for a film production company. In the meanwhile, he attended a clown school in France and a stand-up comedy course, held by Ever Mainard, at the prestigious Second City in Chicago. He then retraced the steps of one of his idols, the Texan stand-up comedian Bill Hicks, performing 160 open-mic shows in Austin in three months (yes, 160 in 89 days!). Now he lives between Berlin and London.

Stay for One More, his solo performance, saw the light only a few days before the Festival started, it is a cabaret-storytelling show, as Spreafico himself defines it. He has never taken stand-up comedy too seriously, his performance is a way of setting himself free from his academic background and to explore the territory of the absurd and the nonsense, and he does that bloody well!
Get ready to laugh and be entertained not only because of him but with him as well; the audience genuinely enjoys seeing an artist having fun while performing. The show changes every night, Filippo loves improvisation and he masters it, he lets the crowd lead but also holds the reins of the show and always keeps in sight where he wants to go. There is a certain order inside the messy appearance of the performance.
One of the funniest shows we have seen this year. Just sit down and get lost into Filippo’s foolishness! While we were leaving the venue, we saw some of the audience, still laughing, hugging him at the door, as a sign of gratitude. Away, away, go away with him!

written by Rosario Perilli