MAASTRICHT. Brindsley Miller, a young artist, and his fiancée Carol Melkett want to impress a rich art collector who has come to look at Brindsley’s work. That is why they steal their neighbour’s expensive antique furniture. Things do not go according to plan. Carol’s father also decides to pay a visit; Brindsley and Carol get into an argument about his former mistress and when there is a power failure, the plundered neighbour also arrives on the scene. This is, in short, what Black Comedy, the new performance by student drama association Alles is Drama, is about.
“I was looking for a farce in English. I came by this piece through a friend,” says director José Schuringa. “It is by the same writer as Equus, which I thought was fantastic.” The play is a physical challenge for the actors. “They shift the furniture around, which provides an opportunity for slapstick. Technically there is also a lot to be dealt with. Because there is a power failure during the major part of the story, we work with light effects.” “Everything that is dark, is bright, and the other way around,” says Iris Blijleven, head of the production committee that is responsible for the set, technology and costumes. “The play starts off in the dark and when there is a power failure the lights are turned on full. The actors have to play as if it is the other way around to what is actually happening.”
Searching for antique furniture was also a challenge. “It had to look like furniture from the Renaissance period, so very specific. We searched Marktplaats and shops that specialise in recycled goods for the right bed and sofa. The nineteen-sixties clothes was a lot easier; we were able to use a lot from our own wardrobe collection.”
Black Comedy, in English, 7 until 9 January 2015, Kumulus West, bookings: www.allesisdrama.com