by Willard Manus
A typical example of European absurdist theatre, MR KOLPERT mixes black humor, violence and horror in its portrayal of the chaos theory at work in Germany today. Written by Cologne-born David Gieselmann, translated by David Tushingham and directed by Scott Cummins, the play focuses on Ralf (Kenneth Alan Williams) and his girlfriend Sarah (Amy Farrington), a bored, amoral couple whose only kicks in life come from abusing other human beings. Into their cold, soulless den steps an unsuspecting couple, Bastian (Thomas Vincent Kelly) and his mousy wife Edith (Jen Dede), who have been invited to dinner. What follows instead is a blood-bath, triggered by Ralf and Sarah's boast that they have murdered Mr Kolpert, the women's shnook of a fellow-worker, and secreted his body on the premises.
Bastian and Edith's shaky humanity is tested when a goofy pizza man (Brad C. Light) arrives with supper and becomes Ralf and Sarah's next potential victim. To kill or not to kill is the question that these over-civilized, morally numb, angst-ridden buffoons raise with each other, with horrifying (but hilarious) results.
Here in the USA plays like MR KOLPERT are thought to be strange, shocking and far out, but in Europe, with its long, long history of mindless, brutal wars and inquisitions, MR KOLPERT is just another slice of life.
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Call 310-477-2055 or visit odysseytheatre.com