Being darker than ever: an encounter with Romina Puma and her mother’s fault
I met Romina Puma outside the venue where she just performed It’s all my mother’s fault!. She approached the table on her wheelchair, the same one that, until a few moments earlier, was parked onstage, while she took us into her world. Sitting beside her I could not avoid noticing her smiling eyes, which kept me company for the entire time we spent together. During the show, despite the fact that I was close to the stage’s edge I had not been able to catch that smile, overwhelmed by the bitterness that filled the space between bouts of laughter.
It’s all my mother’s fault! is a witty performance, told in one breath. Romina took the audience into the relationship she had with her mother. Sometimes, the jokes she threw at the audience seemed to be beyond the topic of the show, but it is not so. After, she always came back to the origin of her taboos and struggles.
Puma came back at the Fringe and it is true that she is darker than ever, does not make concessions to anyone and least of all herself. Every family has at least one skeleton locked inside a closet, and it is quite likely that one might identify part of their story into Romina’s. The feeling that I breathed into the room, was that everyone was feeling less alone, and more confident, like a session with a good therapist.
This was Puma’s third Fringe, her first in 2015 when she brought to Edinburgh Not disabled enough: the real and personal journey that started when she had been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. The following year she came to the Festival with Cook it how you like, it’s still a potato, in which she dismantled the politically-correct, which may be becoming too correct.
The artist has been living in London for the past 8 years. She started as a drama actress in Italy and, in the meanwhile, she never stopped writing Comedy, her real passion. Once in London she created, organized, and managed for 5 years a show called Il Puma Londinese, through which she gathered Italian comedians based in London and willing to perform in their mother tongue.
This run at the Edinburgh Fringe is the final one for It’s all my mother’s fault!, she has already taken it in Leicester, Bath, and Guildford. She is planning to perform a post-view in London before moving on and undertake new projects, such as doing performances in private homes: groups of people will be able to gather together and book her to come over and perform in their own living-rooms!
Romina sees herself more as a show comedian, and even if she performs in clubs and has a talent for cracking jokes back to back, what she really enjoys the most are the shows.
We laughed a lot during our chat but when we parted, looking into her smiling eyes, I noticed that drop of sadness that belongs only to a comedian, especially when she is darker than ever!
written by Rosario Perilli