Ingvild Haugstad hails from Det Andre Teatret, a Norwegian fringe theatre specialising in improv and absurdist comedy. This short solo piece earned her a nomination for best show at the Bergen Fringe Festival last year, which is kind of surprising because it’s basically just Haugstad mucking about for 45 minutes.
She chases a spotlight around the stage. She plays mad lips with us. She recreates a dinner date with an audience member. She points a microphone at walls, at objects and at audience member’s heads to hear what’s going on inside. At one point, she dons a glow in the dark skeleton costume and dances about for a bit. It’s all weird – really weird – but always with an amenable comic edge.
Threaded through it all is a zany love story about a guy and a girl – a cosmic, tragic and coincidental tale that never goes where you expect it to.
Don’t Kill Your Darlings is an unashamedly absurd work, but there’s a perversely poignant heart to it as well. Somehow, Haugstad fleetingly captures something moving towards the end of her show, when her love story reaches its downbeat conclusion. Short, sweet, silly and sensitive.