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Mr Kolpert

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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David Geiselmann's anarchic black comedy about a dinner party at which a joke spirals out of all control has oddly unsettling undertones.

Two couples get together for drinks and pizza, only for the hostess to reveal that she has in fact murdered the accountant bore who works in her office. Cue domestic violence, a mysterious trunk, flying tiramisu, and a bewildered delivery boy. Boasting juicy ingredients regularly found in farce, the humour often acquires a dark and brooding edginess which ensures the audience do not become too comfortable.

First seen at the Royal Court in Richard Wilson's hilarious and bloodthirsty premiere, the company from New Symposium Productions work tirelessly to maintain the mania of the piece, nearly always to great effect. Will Maynard's tight direction works a treat and the actors are focussed and alert throughout, twisting illogical scenarios into absurdist and surprising vignettes.

However, I have a few reservations. Sadly, the performances are not excellent across the board, and even though the production is mostly laced with black comedy, and a rising tension that threatens to boil over at any moment, there are opportunities missed for exploring more complex dynamics and subtle humour. In a slightly uneven cast, Francesca Wilding impresses as Edith, at turns gratingly talkative and over-enthusiastic, before her transformation into a half-naked, weeping murderess.

It's a strangely satisfying evening at C Soco, albeit with some minor flaws. Although, I admit, it's put me right off pizza.

- Adam Elms


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