by Inge Smeers
The Leuven based theater troupe Trivial Muffins, only a few years old, has been putting on shows yearly since its inception. This spring, they will be performing their rendition of Arsenic and Old Lace in Leuven on April the 26th and 27th, and in Brussels on May the 21st and 22nd. For those looking for some English language theater, Trivial Muffins are offering a dark comedy for their audience. As a theater, they are known for their period pieces, intricate set, costume design, and attention to detail. This is a fine opportunity for those lovers of theater history that appreciate classics performed faithfully.
History of Trivial Muffins
A unique concept in Leuven (and far beyond), Trivial Muffins was created in 2014 with the aim of bringing audiences faithful renditions of classic plays. They want everyone to know the entrancing pleasures of the greatest masterpieces, played in their original environment. Trivial Muffins strives to put on beautiful and traditional performances with costumes and settings fitting the time in which the plays were written, and in their original language. This is made possible by a group of highly motivated actors who work on perfecting their pronunciation for every production. They are supported by a dynamic team of costume and set designers, technicians, and other enthusiasts, who roam around flea markets and in opera collections to find the perfect costumes and props.
Trivial Muffins’ first play was the all-time favourite of the founding members: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Trivial Muffins’ formula was received with much praise and this success launched a journey through other well-known classics of different genres. They ventured into the 30s with And Then There Were None by the “Queen of Crime” herself, Agatha Christie. In light of the celebrations for the 500 year publication anniversary of Utopia, Trivial Muffins took to the stage of Leuven’s Stadsschouwburg to perform Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, which tells the story of the renowned Thomas More. Following this drama, they took the romantic route with Jane Austen’s Emma, before going back to their Wilde roots with An Ideal Husband in the fall of 2018. This last production was the first to be performed in Brussels as well as Leuven but its success has prompted their repeated trip this May.
About Arsenic and Old Lace
Now for the first time, Trivial Muffins is venturing across the Atlantic with Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring. Set in 1940s Brooklyn, this black comedy will introduce you to the Brewster family. Mortimer Brewster is a famous theatre critic who has to deal with his eccentric family. His sweet aunts, Abby and Martha, have quite unusual hobbies - and some bodies buried in the cellar! Their nephew Teddy, who believes he is T. Roosevelt, completes this crazy household. When Mortimer gets engaged to the beautiful Elaine Harper, he discovers one of the corpses in his aunts' house, turning his romantic evening into a nightmare. A nightmare for Mortimer, that is, but one that is sure to bring pleasant goose bumps and uncontrollable giggles to the audience.
Arsenic and Old Lace will be performed in Minnepoort (Leuven) on April 26th and 27th, and in BRONKS (Brussels) on May 21st and 22nd. The play is performed in English, with subtitles in Dutch and French. Tickets are available through www.trivialmuffins.com/ticket