The cast features a real who’s who of the CTC from recent years including Frank Theakston (second left), Vanessa Poole (standing), and Jens Blegaa (third right)
AR Gurney’s most successful piece has undergone an intelligent and modern reconstruction by Jeremy Thomas Poulsen for the Copenhagen Theater Circle featuring a diverse cast from backgrounds as far afield as Peru.
Told in a collection of 18 vignettes, the performance presents a European take on the American upper-middle classes, the WASPs. The Dining Room explores the transformation of Denmark’s wealthy protestant society, as it has diversified yet paradoxically refined itself in the context of a new world order.
Ushered by the self-proclaimed host of the evening (Sebastien Bagot), the first thing to take note of is the table hanging from the ceiling, garnished with a table cloth and two unlit candles inside brass candelabras. To the left a sporadic array of silverware is dangling under a spotlight, and to the stage right, a mountain of stacked chairs.
In an unorthodox fashion, the ‘host’ remains present and omniscient throughout the narratives, whilst incorporating a musical backing track for every scene except one. Using a very minimalist set, the play focuses on sociological scenarios occurring around one common theme: the dining room. Despite an actual dining table suspended above the performances, one is led to believe in the metaphor and imagine the elusive protagonist is really there.
While Copenhagen, and also Malmø, are included within the revised script, accents tended to fluctuate between the cast and even during some scenes, leaving the audience a little bewildered as to whether the setting was still Europe, or back in America where the original was set.
Nevertheless, the result was a stunning collection of intelligent performances that will have undoubtedly increased the audience’s appreciation for abstract pieces.
Enjoy and take note of the impressive jewellery made from forks and silverware donned by the cast.
The Dining Room
Krudttønden, Serridslevvej 2, Cph Ø; ends Saturday; tickets: 140kr from ctcircle.dk
***** (Out of 6)