UCLU Runaground’s production of the farcical black comedy Mr Kolpert was originally written by David Gieselmann in German, and translated for the Royal Court in 2000. Runaground’s delivery and interpretation of the play is simultaneously well-timed and chaotic, as the mystery of Mr Kolpert’s ‘murder’ is gradually revealed to the dinner guests in clever and absurd conversations.
The opening scenes portray the host couple as serene lovers obsessed with death. The invited dinner guests, Mr and Mrs Mole, a volatile architect and an overanxious secretary, provide the ideal platform on which the hosts play out their twisted game. A Welsh-Italian pizza delivery boy desperate to please produces several comedic intrusions, as the play comes to a hysterically gripping crescendo.
The five student actors deliver confident performances, each bringing an eccentric edge to their own character. However, the play itself is extremely demanding, and on occasions the actors lacked the required stamina to carry the play through in its entirety.
Nonetheless, the play as a whole is an excellent example of sinister humour on stage, and refreshingly proves that its not just sketches and musicals in which students hold their own amongst the rest of the Fringe. This student production stands out above the rest: put it on your list.
C Soco, 4-30 Aug, 12.15pm