Presentation in english

De Splittergale - The Absolutely Barmy Troupe



The entertaining shows of De Splittergale (The Absolutely Barmy Troupe) consist of street songs, circus and gypsy music, evergreens and crazy busking acts. The group started in 1990, so this year is their 20th anniversary.

This is no mainstream, routine performance! The show is bursting with the energy of a group who are giving their all. Conducted by Jacob, who also plays the accordion, their music and songs will win over even the least responsive of audiences.
Using instruments like saws, spoons, coffee pots, scrubbing boards, barker's sticks, rulers and plastic bags, in short anything that can make a sound, the group juggle themselves through a musical programme of full-throated songs and satirical comments on Danish current affairs in an atmosphere of humour and warmth. Nevertheless, they also provide food for thought.

The majority of the performers have personal, psychological challenges and issues to deal with, but instead of trying to hide them away, they have found somewhere where there is room for the weird and wonderful. In fact, the show is based on the weird and wonderful. The Absolutely Barmy Troupe simply exude sheer energy, using their musical sense of fun and their creativity to challenge normality. No two shows ever turn out the same, making it clear that there is a personal investment involved in each performance

There is a meaning in the madness

There are people of varying ages in the troupe. At the ripe old age of 67, Birgit Gammelgaard is one of the oldest. Even on the most demanding tours, Birgit, who has many physical disabilities, is always up and ready to go. Many of the performers have been in the group for 12-14 years or more. Lately, however, the influx of a large number of challenged, but lively and musical young people fresh from the School of Street Entertainment in Århus (Gøglerskolen) has reduced the average age considerably. The youngest of all the performers is Ylva, who is 16.

The energy of these youngsters makes the shows even more lively, while at the same time holding at bay the inner voices and phobias some of them have to cope with. In this way, the troupe has the double function of entertaining audiences, while at the same time constituting a self-help group for each individual.

A manic level of activity

The Absolutely Barmy Troupe perform almost anywhere, both in the street and on stage, both in Denmark and abroad, and they are always in great demand. Last year alone they performed no fewer than 42 times.
In May last year year the group were invited on a week's tour, performing in the cultural underground and circus environment of Berlin. In August they visited a number of gypsy villages in Romania, and in September the Absolutely Barmy Troupe took part in a Hungarian gypsy festival.

2010 promises to be just as busy, with several trips abroad in the pipeline and many events already planned.