Getting it all down on paper

Getting it all down on paper

An Italian performer brings joy - and finds joy - by acting and singing as characters in two-dimensional costumes

Ennio Marchetto is an entertainer from Italy, and his live shows use two-dimensional paper costumes, which can be seen only from the front.

He came to show his artistry at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts last month, and our junior reporters interviewed him. He also invited them to one of his shows. Here's what they learned...

A show for all ages

Marchetto loved Hong Kong when he first came here in 2005, which is probably why he came to Asia's world city again. "The thing I liked the most about Hong Kong is that this place combines modern and old things," he said. He especially loves the food here, such as the dim sum.

Asked what he expected from his second show, Marchetto replied: "I would like more young people to come, perhaps with their families." As it's such an unusual idea, it's no surprise people of all ages saw the show.

Kate Ng

Audience's favourite character

What's the benefit of going to Marchetto's show? You get 70 minutes of a middle-aged man prancing about on an empty stage, dressed in paper costumes of celebrities, all the while lip-synching to a mixture of songs on a CD.

Of all the celebrity costumes, the one Hong Kong audiences liked most - judging from their applause - was Jackie Chan. No surprise.

Ada Pang

You, too, can be an Ennio Marchetto

Putting on a paper costume by itself won't make the audience laugh; it's the character you're acting out.

For the Ennio Marchetto-wannabes out there, you're in luck because all you have to do is watch music videos and performances and observe the artistes' facial expressions, accents, body language and the like.

Stacey Chan

It all began as a dream

People don't normally dream about making a Marilyn Monroe costume, but you might if you lived in Italy and knew about Venice's carnivals. And Marchetto did.

When he woke up, he made his first costume out of cardboard, eventually leading to his title, "The Living Paper Cartoon".

Minnie Yip

Exercise keeps him young

Why would a grown man dress up in a Snow White costume made out of paper? For Marchetto, the reason is simply that it's fun. "I just want the audience to be happy and entertained," Marchetto says.

Because his show involves quick-change artistry with upbeat music, not only does he have fun, but he also gets some exercise. "Even though I have been performing for 24 years, my body is still young and fresh when I perform," Marchetto said. "I exercise so much in the show, I have a really healthy and strong body."

Janet Tam

A little calmer off-stage

On stage, Marchetto is like a chameleon on caffeine, switching from one character to another. When he sits down, however, he is a different person. He is relaxed, content with life and travelling round the world. "I like trying new things," he says. "Just like the characters in my show ... [I have] the ability to feel good in any situation."

Abby Yuen


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