Blam: like an evening with Chan and Van Damme

From tomorrow, Jackie Chan’s ass-kicking moves, dare-devil stunts and rip-roaring chase scenes will not just be confined to the big screen. Four of Denmark’s best physical performers have taken their cue from the most gripping action films, YouTube clips and pirated videos to bring you the stage performance Blam!

Blam! is about people freeing themselves and stepping into the movies where the natural laws of gravity don’t apply and people are capable of great things”, explains Kristján Ingimarsson, the show’s creator. Set in an office, the monotonous work tone is replaced by a high-octane energy as actors re-enact clips from their favourite movie scenes amidst desks, toilets and waste paper bins.

Blending together stunts, parkour, dance, acrobatics, mime and slapstick, the actors push their bodies to the limit, or some may say into the ‘danger zone’. “We don’t hold back at all,” enthuses Ingimarsson. “Physically it’s a very tough performance and there have been a lot of injuries.” But it’s precisely the dangerous aspect to the show that Ingimarsson said “gives people the rush they seek”.

Blam! is a tribute to the body that it can do the impossible if given the chance. The actors in Blam! spend much of their time hanging with the new bad boy on the block: parkour. Developed in France, the focus of parkour is to move around obstacles – invariably everyday structures you might see on any city street in the world – with speed and efficiency by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping. You have to be a little mad to do this kind of stuff though – a French study showed ‘traceurs’ (people practicing parkour) seek significantly more excitement and thrills than gymnasts.

Blam! is a play where I didn’t need to think too much,” continues Ingimarsson. “Blam! is just about thinking with your stomach, heart and pelvis.”

This is physical theatre at its best – a world away from intellectual theatre, some may say. Ingimarsson’s company, Neander Theatre, has captured the country’s top performers who have “worked their butts off” over the last two and half months to create the show. “Everyone is very turned on by this project and my hope is that the audience will be too,” muses Ingimarsson.

But all performances need some meaning behind the madness. Blam! provides a sharp hint of irony about the nature of our western culture – one that many have come to term as a ‘jackass culture’ in which people voluntarily engage in death-defying challenges in their desire to reach the limit of human thrills.

“The world is in dire need of more ‘blaming’,” said Ingimarsson. His hope is that by the time the show ends, people leave the theatre armed with the inspiration and the raw tools to address that need. “Blaming can be done on the street, in the office, at the movies, in the bathroom – anywhere really!” And because the show has no speaking in it, there can be no misunderstandings about what ‘blaming’ actually is. There is a word of warning issued from Ingimarsson though: “Don’t try to understand Blam! Just go with the flow.”


Republique, Østerfælled Torv 37, Cph Ø;

Starts Friday, ends Feb 11, performances Tue-Fri 20:00;

Tickets 160–255kr;

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