Fringe review: Cocooned in Kazan

By John Lyle Belden

Inspired by Ukrainian author and satirist Nikolai Gogol, British troupe Royal Kung Foolery presents “Cocooned in Kazan,” playing in the Marrott Center, the story of a ladies’ man in 19th-century Russia who finds he must settle down and marry to inherit his parents’ estate. But this requires going to his little home town of Kazan, where all the women know him, and not fondly. So Konstantin instead pines for newly-arrived Katya, while his maid, Tatiana, has her eyes on him.

This results in a lot of comic situations and creative physical humor, helped along by occasional anachronism and several fourth-wall moments. Yet as manic and goofy as things get – even when a character walks offstage to share a drink with an audience member – the story never falls apart.

This is easily one of the most entertaining shows of the fringe, and a great example of how wonderful it is to draw in such international acts.

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