Bad things also come in threes

Bear witness to the realisation of three years of performances by the Mute Comp Physical Theatre – a bit like the full version of Kill Bill, but with three parts, not two! The Illegal Trilogy consists of three independent pieces – Knock on Unpainted Wood (2010), FUBAR (2011) and Blackout! (2012) – and this coming week, they will be performed in their entirety for the first time as one sensational extravaganza. 

Knock on Unpainted Wood, which originally premiered in 2010, is a poignant work that deals with the harsh everyday life of a victim of sex trafficking and explores the dark world of human exploitation. The name is a direct translation of a Polish saying that means you ‘hope everything goes well’ – a bit like the English saying ‘touch wood’. The obscure name is actually very appropriate as many victims of sex trafficking initially become involved in the dark trade due to the promise of a better life. However, the hope and promise of a better life usually leads to a dark and tragic existence in the sex industry. 


FUBAR is the acronym for Fucked Up Beyond Any Recognition, a military phrase that is used to a describe a situation which is … well, fucked. The piece opened in 2011 and got rave reviews. It takes on the bizarre yet powerful fascination with power and weapons that lies within many of us. This absurd preoccupation with weapons, and the innate human instinct to kill, is put front and centre in this physical satire in which we are presented with war, violence and child soldiers. 


The final performance of the night is Blackout!, an original dance work from 2012 about the surreal and horrifying world of addiction. It deals with the everlasting chase for the ultimate rush to top all others and the never-ending need for escape. The dance challenges our perceptions by exploring what it’s like to be drawn towards something that’s bad for you, to relentlessly pursue something despite being aware of the horrible consequences. The work sees the consequences of giving into addiction and finding yourself − and sense of self − slowly drowning in a sea of smoke, fog and piercing light. It goes without saying that the audience’s senses will be treated to a unique show of choreography, music and lights.


Although each show has been created and shown as an individual piece before, The Mute Comp’s initiative to bring them back as one solid show is welcome. The issues that are being dealt with are intertwined in the harsh reality of the world we live in: the world of sex trafficking is filled with drugs and violence, and sexual exploitation and drugs have sadly been a part of warfare for a long time. The Illegal Trilogy is set to be a show that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but very relevant in today’s world.


Mute Comp has worked closely with different musicians to create a unique sound and feel in each of the dance pieces. Each musician and band will be performing live, creating an electrifying and vibrant feel throughout the evening. The Polish electronica band Pchelki will provide some uproarious music to Knock on Unpainted Wood. In FUBAR, the legendary Shack Shakers, all the way from Nashville, will blast some wild rock ‘n’ roll, and Blackout! will be accompanied by some pop music, general noise and slam poetry by Kirstine Stubbe Teglbjærg, MC Jabber and Dodebum.


All in all, there are around 30 artists from eight different countries participating in this feast for the eyes. All three pieces will be shown together each evening from April 11-14, and although it is certainly possible to buy tickets for each show individually, it can only be recommended to buy a ticket for all of them: not only will it result in a 50 percent discount, but seeing all three works together will give the audience a unique point of view.


The Illegal Trilogy

Store Carl at Dansehallerne, Pasteursvej 20, Cph V

Starts Thu (April 11), ends April 14, performances at 17:30

Tickets 180kr, concessions available

315 mins including two intervals;