Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Meesterlijk-Showcasing the Best of Dutch Theatre

6-30 August (ex. 16), 00.20

“Why not put a mask on and walk out of the slaughterhouse of your life?”

Drowsily going up the winding staircase of the GRV at twenty past midnight, and being lead into a small room where the entirety of the set (a table and two chairs, a coat stand and three carefully placed televisions) was a subtle hue of blue, white or gray was a bizarre, yet strangely appealing beginning to my first experience of Dutch theatre.

Dreamlike in its execution, Scala is the story of a woman who goes out for dinner with her best friend, and, as the night unravels so too does her sense of reality.

This piece was beautifully construed. While one actress flinches and flutters in her surroundings, declaiming that the Chinese music in the restaurant is “screaming like a stuffed pig”, the other simply sits in silence occasionally tilting her head or adjusting the angle of her body. Indeed, the latter never reacts through her facial expressions, even when described as “smiling”. This adds to the chimerical and yet peculiarly tense atmosphere of this piece, a feeling already enhanced by a staring face occupying each of the monochrome TV screens.

The way in which madness is explored and presented in this monologue was fascinating and at times bewitching. Rich language and subtly modulating music combined perfectly with visually striking acting by its two strong cast. This show is an out of the ordinary experience, but most definitely a worthwhile one.