Theatre review: Mr Kolpert at the King’s Head Theatre

15:54 27 July 2012

Kate Sawyer as Sarah, Edward Fulton as Ralf and Laura Freeman as Edith in Mr Kolpert at the King

Kate Sawyer as Sarah, Edward Fulton as Ralf and Laura Freeman as Edith in Mr Kolpert at the King's Head. Photo by Martin Dewar


Funny and disturbing black comedy that makes creative use of cranberries

Dark humour meets whodunnit in this 80 minute sparkler of a play by David Gieselmann.

A young(ish) urban couple, Sarah and Ralf, invite Sarah’s prissy colleague, Edith and her fiery-tempered buffoon of a husband, Bastian, round for dinner on a Saturday night.

Social awkwardness ensues: the hosts knock back the booze whilst their guests are confirmed teetotallers. Sarah, who is much more interested in tarting herself up than cooking, orders pizzas. Classy.

But then Abigail’s Party morphs into Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope when Sarah and Ralph joke they’ve done a murder because they were a bit bored actually.

A large trunk in the centre of the room becomes the focus for intense scrutiny: accusations fly and the pizza delivery boy gets a whole lot more than he bargained for. As did I because I was sitting at the front – you have been warned.

Still, it is nice to see such a creative use of cranberries and their juice. And to witness some excellent fight scenes – presumably thanks to Lewis Penfold who has the fantastic credit of “stage combat” in the programme.

The cast were convincing but overacted on occasion – less is more given the crazy plot twists and character U-turns in the second half, and the size of the theatre.

Laura Freeman is particularly good as Edith who goes from buttoned-up submissive to foul-mouthed adulteress as soon as she sheds her cardigan.

The combination of humour and horror – not an easy one to get right – is handled with aplomb by director, Rachel Valentine Smith.

And if this is not enough to persuade you to see it – there is also some nudity. A disturbing and funny black comedy.

* Mr Kolpert is at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, N1, until August 5.


Latest Entertainment Stories

32 minutes ago
Cate Blanchett in Carol. Picture: Wilson Webb/Studio Canal

This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s autobiographical novel has all the signs of Academy-baiting, but Carol’s small moments, acting and score make for a perfect fit, says Michael Joyce.


A special Barbican-led night at Oval Space sees acts including the electronic duo discussing social mobility in the arts, finds Alex Bellotti.

Yesterday, 13:00
The choir of Clare College Cambridge. Picture: Nick Rutter

Concerts in Hampstead Parish Church and and the Union Chapel will be performing Handel’s classic work, says Michael Joyce.

Yesterday, 09:00
Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Billy Magnusson in Bridge of Spie. Picture: Jaap Buitendijk/DreamWorks

Another safe offering from Stephen Spielberg is saved by the performances of its two leading stars, says Michael Joyce.

Most read entertainment


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder