Blam! is the hit comedy show which blew the socks off the Edinburgh Festival crowd in 2013. It is described as Die Hard meets The Office and is a heady mixture of ‘comedy, narrative theatre, acrobatics and daring physical stunts’. The only UK performance this year started at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre last night and it runs to 31 August. I spoke to the cast to discover what we should expect.
1. Blam!? What on earth is that?
Schulz: The cure against depression and path towards finding the right work-life balance. Also one of the best reasons to steal money from your grandmother to afford the ticket to an awesome show.
Joen: The last sound you will hear if you ask any silly questions!!!
Janus: It’s the sound of a comic book Magnum 45 fired right in front of your eyes.
Mette: A blam is an action performed by a blammer, a person who is in a state of mind halfway in reality, halfway inside of an action movie. A blammer does not obey conventional rules. Blam is challenging everyday trivialities and celebrating everything that’s playful. Blamming can occur anywhere.
Kristján: Blam is the ultimate blast against the nine to five slavery. We think everyday should be as expressive and limitless as in the movies.
2. You must have a love of action films. You also must have an understandably healthy dislike of working in an office. Which was the stronger reason for creating Blam?
Schulz: There’s definitely a strong dislike of repetitive work and of the more monotonous side of human existence as such. Of everything that kills creativity and joy. Life shouldn’t be so boring. There should be a point in the human rights charter that forbids boring work. It kills the soul! Blam is about using whatever is in front of you, no matter where and when you are, to flip the world upside down and reconnect with the playfulness that is at the heart of every living soul. You don’t really need to prepare or join a club. You just do, you act. That’s what action movies are about. Taking life into your own hands, being on a journey, an adventure, being the hero! It might be a fiction, but fiction – like reality – is part of life too.
Joen: Imagine Neo slowly dying at work in The Matrix. Multiply that feeling by 100 and add a spoonful of Legolas´ hatred of goblins, then you have our feelings towards working in an office. But we like coffee! A lot!
3. Blam! sounds like bonkers adrenalin-fuelled fun. Blackpool is the UK home of such madcap fun, will you be going up the tower and riding the roller coasters while you’re over here?
Joen: We´ll do it unbuckled, to the sound of Ride Of The Valkyries while screaming, “We love the smell of Napalm in the morning!”
Mette: YES! And if there’s a chance to bungee jump… I have a deal with Kristján Ingimarsson 😉
Kristján: We are for sure going to ride the legendary roller coaster and the tower looks ideal for bungee jumping.
4. I once used the office photocopier to copy a stuffed piranha. What is the most unusual thing you have ever photocopied?
Schulz: A mosquito that had just bitten me. I did about 500 copies and put them up around my hometown as a warning to all the other mosquitos about what would happen if they tried to bite me.
Joen: A cubistic patchwork made of all the underwear getting thrown on stage during our world tour.
5. Robocop and the Terminator are locked in the stationary cupboard. There is only one stapler and they both need it. Who wins the right to attach papers to each other in this epic fight to the death?
Schulz: Terminator. It’s from the future. It will just return from there if it should lose a round or two to RoboCop. Kinda like in Edge of Tomorrow.
Joen: Schwarzenegger will make a tincan out of Robocop and drink a nice cup of boiling oil out of it, while stapling away record style!
Mette: I think the senator outsmarts the robot.
6. We have a strong traditional theatre tradition in the UK. For better or worse, we have Shakespeare and Lloyd Webber filling so many of our theatres. Do you find that the UK has a different attitude to physical theatre than mainland Europe?
Schulz: I find the UK has a curious crowd.
Mette: I guess we will be contributing with something new to the UK repertoire, in form, genre and maybe also intensity, but so far there has been no doubt that the British audiences find it easy to get onboard with BLAM. I believe all human beings can relate to physical theatre, since it communicates through the body.
7. I’m having a tooth out today at the dentist, what office equipment would you use to do the same job?
Schulz: Tape and chairs. Attach tape to the tooth on one end and the other to a office chair with wheels. Then get your colleagues to tape your to the wall, so your are totally immobile. The chair is right in front of you. There should be three or four colleagues on the chair. The pieces of tape attached to tooth and chair should be about 10 meters to allow to reach the right speed. Make sure your colleagues are heavily fuelled with performance enhancing stuff like coffee or Red Bull. Your colleagues then push the chair forward as fast as they can and jump on it right before the tape pulls your teeth out to add weight. You won’t feel a thing. Fill up hole with glue and paper from a performance report.
Joen: An office chair
Janus: A coffemaker and a stapler.
Mette: Laserpointer. I may take a while though…
8. Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd comes to arrest you for crimes against stationary. What crazed use of office equipment in the whole Blam show would get you the most years in prison.
Schulz: I really don’t understand this question. If Sly comes to arrest you resistance is futile and that’s just that
Janus and Joen : Ball-crushing with the stapler.
Mette: Destroying BLAM2D2 (the watercooler) of course!
9. What is the best line from any action film ever? For me it’s “come quietly or there’ll be…trouble” from Robocop.
Schulz: ”All I have in this world is my word and my balls and I don’t break them for anybody” Scarface
Joen: ”He hit my elbow with his nose!” From Blam the Movie… out in Dec 2017…
Janus: “Go ahead… Make my day” Dirty Harry
Mette: ”I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubble gum.” (They Live)
10. So what is next for Blam? What can we expect for future shows?
Kristján: We want Blam to become a global movement. We encourage people around the world to turn their working day into an adventure. There is a big interest so it looks like we are gonna tour some years to come. Next stop is Istanbul!
Tickets for Blam! can be bought from the Grand Theatre box office by phoning (01253) 290190 or by visiting the website.
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