- Kirstin Innes
- 10 August 2009
This article is from 2009.
Going Dutch, and possibly mad
Imagine if human behaviour wasn’t continually kept in check by thousands of almost imperceptible social bylaws, the ones that tell us not to stare, not to scratch ourselves there in public, not to express every thought we have as soon as we have it. This seems as good a starting point as any for understanding Scala, the winner of Meesterlijk, a competition aimed at bringing the best of young Dutch experimental theatre to the Fringe.
Summarising Scala is difficult: essentially, a young woman out to dinner with a friend suddenly realises the meaninglessness of smalltalk about the nice bread and begins, in a panic, to wrest herself free of those conventions. What ensues is an uneven, but always compelling stream of consciousness monologue heading toward something like a nervous breakdown. Conclusions are not necessarily reached. Anna Hermanns' performance and Enver Husicic's script invest the piece with a frantic energy, but Hermanns' silent friend, representing the placid path of someone who doesn’t ask difficult questions is just as fascinating a presence. It’s not without flaws, but it’s definitely worth staying up for.