Theater Review: ‘Herr Kolpert’

By David Gieselmann; translated by Muli Shulman and Anat Baranovski; directed by Muli Shulman. Tmuna Theater,August 12.

This wacky, hilarious, blackest of black comedies has everything except the kitchen sink. Hila Plashkes’s deliberately sketchy set is dominated by a huge chest wherein, supposedly, lies the body of the unfortunate Herr Kolpert, a blameless accountant supposedly murdered for the kick of it by chaos physicist Ralph (Yoav Heyman) and his girlfriend Sara (Sivan Sasson).
They have invited to dinner, in order to laugh at them, architect Bastien (Lior Baranes) and his wife Edit (Efrat Arnon), a colleague of Sara’s.
Very quickly everything goes disastrously awry, and an unfortunate pizza delivery woman (Inbal Luri) – the pizza order sequence is one of the play’s funniest – is dragged into the bloody, violent maelstrom of seeming and supposing that follows.
The play is, of course, about the near-total abdication of a moral universe to which, so Mr. Gieselmann seems to be suggesting, we are happily heading – it’s not a coincidence that Ralph researches chaos – and the consequences of which are unpredictable.
The production is razor sharp. The actors are admirably on the button, with tongue firmly in cheek.
Herr Kolpert is, most worthily, part of Tmuna’s German season that introduces the cutting edge of contemporary German playwriting to Israeli audiences.