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It’s not a story with a beginning and an ending, and yet the two hours it lasts feel like two minutes. Set in slightly out-of-the-way venues rather than traditional theater spaces, De Warme Winkel and the Touki Delphine collective occupy buildings in four cities and organize exciting interventions. They put it best themselves, actually: it’s like an evening of clicking through news and fashion websites with talk shows on repeat in the background.
BAM – Kunst Is Geen Kast (‘art is not a closet’) does everything in its power to celebrate the medium of theater. Nothing in this show feels like it wants to be something else: a poem, a film, a novel, a photograph. It’s raw, tremendously funny and insightful, especially when it deals with the vulgar realities of twenty-first-century media consumption, for instance in the case of an explicit sex scene in the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto, coolly narrated by an unshaven, chain-smoking vlogger. A giant bathtub to the right of the stage is where the actors come to chill out, taking turns to take the stage.
Inspired by OBERIU, a Russian Futurist collective in the ’20s and ’30s, BAM incorporates many of its distinctive elements. Provocative performances including circus acts, absurd happenings, incomprehensible prose and chaotic interruptions are all present. The high becomes low and the low is made high. My favorite sequence is an endlessly superficial interview with a fashion blogger, consisting solely of painful platitudes but very – creepily – recognizable.
To add to the overall joy, the music is fantastic. It’s called Vaporwave, a style that recycles songs and aesthetics of the eighties and nineties. It underpins the show with a faint feeling of sadness of something lost, without ever telling us what it is. That’s up to you.
Bam – Kunst is Geen Kast
When: December 4-12
Where: Tropicana Theater, Asterweg 22
Tickets: €17 / €13,50
More info: Frascati Website
Photos by Sofie Knijff.
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