'Lebensraum' by Jakop Ahlbom at Theater BellevueTheater / Amsterdam
August 26-28, 8.30pm
Lebensraum, the critically acclaimed performance from Swedish-born theatre producer Jakop Ahlbom, will be back in Amsterdam for a string of shows at Theater Bellevue in August!
Described by Dig Boston as "pure physical comedy," the show has received rave reviews around Europe and in the United States for its merging of theatrical disciplines in a way that can only be described as side-splitting.
Lebensraum: slapstick comedy at its best
Lebensraum is a hilarious, yet shrewd take on physical comedy inspired by the work of Buster Keaton and comedic styles popular in the 1920s. Expanding the world of slapstick humour, Ahlbom has created a piece that can best be described as a union of silent film and live theatre.
The show is set in a single, cramped living room where two men have seemingly adapted to the lack of space by creating dual functions for all items present on stage: the bed as a piano, the bookcase as a fridge, lights appearing only when needed, etc.
In dire need of a feminine touch, the two create a "mechanical" cleaning lady (masterfully portrayed by Silke Hundertmark) who suddenly takes on a life of her own, completely disrupting the harmony of the home.
Through her robotic movements and the constant changing of set elements, a world of absurd hijinks begins when the three interact: flipping over the table, losing track of their chairs, hilariously exaggerated stumbles and all sorts of farcical incidents.
Although the actors remain silent for the entire performance, the songs and melodies of Alamo Race Track’s Ralph Mulder and Leonard Lucieer provide welcome musical accompaniment reflecting the moods and antics of the performers.
All photos by Sanne Peper.
About theatre-maker Jakop Ahlbom
A Swedish native, Jakop Ahlbom arrived in the Netherlands in the early 1990s to attend Theatre School (Mime) in Amsterdam.
One of the most promising students of his class, Ahlbom would go on to work with the likes of Karina Holla, Roy Peters, De Daders, De Groep van Steen and Het Ro Theater, among others, before starting to work under his own name.
Since the early 2000s he has been developing a distinct style and body of work.
Through productions such as Nur Zur Erinnerung (2002), Lost (2004) and Vielfalt (2006), international critics began to take notice of his trademark theatrical form combining aspects of mime, dance and illusion.
Winning the 2012 VSCD Mime Award at the Dutch Theatre Festival for Lebensraum, be on the look-out for the sequel, Lebensraum II, which will feature 20 performers and continue fusing the worlds of classic theatre and mime to hysterical results!