Mr Kolpert, Lion and Unicorn Theatre - Review

Possessing the rich, black humour of a Joe Orton play, Blink.Theatre's Mr Kolpert leaves an indelible mark on the imagination. Directed by Lotte Ruth Johnson, the play can be described as a farcial version of Abigail's Party, with two couples involved in all sorts of antics – all stemming from a 'joke' about a dead body (the eponymous Mr Kolpert) in a trunk in the middle of the room.

Playing the convivial hosts, Sarah and Ralf (Libby Rodliffe, Peter Watts) have invited Edith and Bastian Mole (Kate Austen and Benjamin Victor) around to their flat. However the Moles are known for being 'the comic relief' at social gatherings and it is in this capacity that they've been 'invited'. The reason for this reputation? Bastian's short fuse, often jumping to the wrong conclusions and leading to all kinds of social faux pas. His long-suffering wife Edith in a moment of 'weakness' *may* have also had an affair with someone they have in common with Sarah and Ralf – Mr Kolpert. It isn't long before Bastian shows his volatile side, where everyone from the pizza delivery guy to his own life is at the receiving end of his tongue... and his blows...

Rodliffe and Watts exhibit a surfeit of energy and great comic timing. Meanwhile Victor plays the mercurial Bastian as someone whose insecurities compel him to be overbearing and scornful, and Austen – through her relatively understated performance – demonstrates the emotional kernel of the play, a woman whose marriage is every bit as restrictive as the trunk that's on everyone's mind.

© Michael Davis 2016.

Mr Kolpert runs at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre until 14th May 2016.

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