Bar by bar, night by night, story by story, onward! departs from Allah 99, Hassan Blasim's cheeky debut novel in which a writer travels the world to collect the stories of 99 people from the Middle East: a DJ who used to work as a doctor in a Syrian hospital during the ISIS occupation, a man making money by selling dead flies, an Iraqi cab driver who can't stop crying while collecting all kind of illnesses.
From the Youtube Man to Ali Transistor: in every story the real is in the surreal, the banal in the tragic. It’s only one step between getting drunk, a blowjob and a car bomb. What is appearance, what is authentic? It is precisely this boundary that Enkidu explores in a scheherazade-like story marathon, in which three performers and a DJ try to get into the head and skin of the novel characters.
Enkidu Khaled lives in both the Middle Eastern and the European world. He uses the theater to tell stories that challenge the clichés and fantasies that both worlds have about each other. Bar by bar, night by night, story by story, onward! starts from a fascination for contemporary storytelling as a tool to get a grip on a fragmented world.
The audience sits in two groups that cannot see each other. Tribune and stage are divided in two by a wall. Who sees what? Are we seeing the same thing? What is reality? And why are we so keen to grasp it?
What Ever Happened to Mr. Pete is not your usual play. This alienating theatrical experience is a search for the truth behind Mr Pete. Who is he? And who are we really? A necessary question in times of algorithms, digitalisation and the celebration of our happiness as free individuals. A performance about loneliness, communality and loss of control. A shared quest, as Mr Pete also gets to know himself in short, funny scenes, populated by a motley parade of characters.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin. How did that story go again? The citizens of Hamelin hire a rat catcher. But after he has lured the rats away, they breach the contract? Why? What happened? And why does he take his revenge out on the children? What's the morale of the story then? Children will bear their parent's guilt? Or did the children run away by themselves?
Director Sarah Moeremans and playwright Joachim Robbrecht rewrite The Pied Piper as to a coming-of-age satire on education around intergenerational experiments with educational models, bad parenting, parental (feelings of) guilt, ideological pitfalls and more. Currently, children are refusing school on Fridays to address the Climate catastrophy. Politicians don't really seem to bother about their concerns. Boomers respond: Been there, done that, we all need our bit of protestting. What's the matter and what's the morale?
Bambi is the second play in the collection What’s in a fairytale?! , a series of plays in which popular and iconic tales are being revisited : How have these stories, their settings and their characters influenced our look upon the world? Breaking open the narrative structure and resampling the tropes of these tales they serve as vehicles to dramatize current social and political issues.
'You can't talk like Rambo and act like Bambi' (John Glenn)
In 1923 the Austrian author Felix Salten published his novel Bambi, A life in the Woods. But it was not until Disney made a movie out of the story in 1942 that the little roe deer has become a widely known symbol of innocence, of victimhood as well as excessive sentimentality towards nature. Since 1942, terms such as 'Bambi syndrome', 'Bambi complex' and 'Bambi factor' have entered everyday speech.
In this dramatization of the story, Bambi is struggling to emancipate himself from the many representations and meanings that he is being endowed with. While in the middle of making a more realistic representation of his life in the woods (Style cinéma vérité), he is being chased by two male hunters, who consider themselves victims of overblown ecological awareness and excessive feminist emancipation. They in their turn are being hunted by two feminist hunter-hunters that are solidarizing with the animals. The play's narrative unfolds around discussions on victimhood, perpetratorship, revolutionary animals and the power and dangers of representation...
Robin Hood is the first part of the trilogy 'What's in a fairy-tale?', a collection of plays that deals with themes of contemporary social relevance through the lense of popular and iconic tales.
How long can one stay a rebel? In Robin Hood, we revisit Sherwood Forest, and wonder what has remained from the Merrymen's ideals? Although they have warded off the king's army and resisted the temptations of capitalist progress for more than eight hundred years, their persistence is now being challenged : The villagers of Nottingham, who live under Robin Hood's protection, are being wooed by King John. Having turned from a medieval feudal lord into a pragmatic neo-liberal leader, John skilfully plays the soft spots of the people and lures them into compromise and reform. Being plunged into a political crisis, internal disagreements on the appropriate response threatens the survival of Robin Hood's anarchist bulwark.
In NASSABA: SONG OF A BIRD, Jimmy Grima follows his father, an amateur of the contested and meanwhile forbidden practice of bird-trapping, with a camera. In a one-hour performance, Jimmy documents and unravels the world, the sentiments and the arts of his father and his peers, who know how to whistle and call like singing birds. Nassaba : Song of A Bird, is a portrait of the delicate relation between father and a son, a documentation of a dissappearing practice and a subjective archive of popular technology of bird-trapping.
(Image: Jan Brokof)
EXOOT- Tropical Healing
Location : Vriend van Bavink, Gelderse kade 30
Doors open : 20.15 start 20.30
In some places they spit strangers out, while in others they swallow them whole.
EXOOT – Tropical Healing is an exhibition and show where we can reconquer our exotic selves and think about cannibalism as a healing strategy for dealing with The Other. Beneficial therapy for the diluted identities of world citizens.
Visual artist Jan Brokof is converting the Vriend van Bavink Gallery in Amsterdam into a theatrical installation, a pool paradise where tropic iconography is recycled: coconut juice, hummingbirds, helicopters, conquistadores, buzzing air conditioning units, Brazilian wax and palm trees.
Directed by Joachim Robbrecht, De Warme Winkel actor Ward Weemhoff and Brazilian actress Mariana Senne dos Santos play continents in love, searching for an uninhabited island where they can start over.
Find your tickets here
EXOOT – Tropical Healing is a coproduction of Stichting Show Machine and De Warme Winkel.
Supported by: Fonds 21, Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds, Ammodo, Lira, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst en Fonds Podiumkunsten.
“One never escapes the economy of war” (J. Derrida)
The world commemorates the start of World War I… of course, one can barely imagine how it must have been… mind-blowing. Luckily, the war ended! Or did it? Wasn’t there an update called World War II and another one called The Cold War? And what about Star Wars and Call of Duty? And that other game, the so-called War on Terror?
What’s next? The battlefield has travelled from where the concrete action takes place to the theatre of the mind… War strategies are being utilized in corporate business, marketing and politics. Spam-faced-zombies and bot militias colonize the private sphere. The whole life has turned into a battlefield on which fears need to be managed and exploited.
The Great Warmachine updates perspectives on the current economy of warfare. Covered with pixelcamouflage, and informed by 3D printed history it attempts to lock and load for the future with the wrestling spirit of the deserter.
The boundary between public and private has been demolished and there's no way back. "Privacy is no longer the social norm" Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stated recently. Not so long ago artists moved and provoked the audience with their greasy sheets and dirty cigarette butts (Tracey Emin), the birth of their child (Ed van der Elsken and Stan Brakhage) and intimate sex scenes (Andy Warhol amongst others). An artistic era has perished because everyone’s dirty laundry is hanging out.
The dialogue between Ward Weemhoff and Wine Dierickx, not only a couple on stage, takes us to the limits of the intimate. Blurring the borders between fiction and reality, between the re-enactments of iconic works of art (by artists couples Yoko Ono and John Lennon and Jeff Koons and Illona Staller), and their private lives, they evoke the time when the intimate still had something mysterious. At the same time, they also raise the question of the usefulness and appeal of the secret and masked. Privacy is staged as a striptease of personal confessions. It confronts us with our ethical stance, our nostalgic desire for eroticism in times of post-private pornography.
'So many representations, so many appearances seperate us from eachother ' Luce Irigaray
In 1879 Ibsen's A Doll's House aroused controversy as it revealed the oppressive mechanisms in a society ruled by men and money. Since then, the play has become a favourite of audiences as an exciting and dramatic representation of 'the battle of the sexes'. However in 2016, after 137 years of feminism, the world has changed, and Nora Helmer cannot longer accept to be pushed in the role of rebellious woman, whilst confirming traditional family patterns. In Crashtest Ibsen she decides to defy the dramatic logic and revolts against the way in which her role inevitbly leads her to catastrophy. At the end of the play, she finds an alternative way out of the malaise!
Trailer performance 15+
Stop looking 4 de real sh*t ! I fantasize you to tatters!
GTA 5 is a play triggered by the popularity amongst youngsters of the action adventure game of the same name. Toneelgroep Oostpool commissioned me to write a text on how gaming (and especially it's excessive episodes of violence) might influence our way of behaving in everyday life.
In GTA 5 I try to make palpable the attractivities as well as the danger of the grotesque and absurd fantasies that can occur in games. Three performers on stage are arguing for and against the boredom of reality and the excitement of fantasy as an outlet for teenagers. They question the necessity of political correctness within fantasy and the need of moral values beyond reality. The atmosphere gets tensed when performers are fantasizing about individuals in the audience. A sense of insecurity is spreading in space and provoking the watching teenagers to contemplate whether it is them playing their games or the games playing them.
GTA 5 has been awarded the Zilveren Krekel 2015, a price for the most exceptional dutch productions for youth theater.
From the statement of the jury :
"GTA 5 is a performance on games and fantasy, as filosofic as it is confronting and brutal. Joachim Robbrecht wrote a razor sharp text on the impact of games without being trapped into moralizing. "
"ELISABETH : If we want to achieve progress we inevitably need to clear those who are hinderance to it, out of the way."
Queens is based on a historical encounter that in reality never took place. Queen Elisabeth I of England and Mary Stuart are meeting each other at Fotheringhay Castle, where Mary has been emprisoned since she lays claim to the English throne.
Queen Elisabeth has been advised by her councellors to sentence Mary Stuart to death. In a last attempt to avert a decision that she can hardly bear to live with, Queen Elisabeth tries to convince her cousin to waive all her claims to the throne. While the Queens are blaming each other back and forth in a lenghty argument, the axe for Mary's beheading is being prepared.
Much more than a history play, Queens is a satire on the cowardice, pragmatism and naive romanticism that have have contributed as much to such historical events as have vision and bravery. Each sentence seems to allude to one or the other contemporary political figure.
Crashtest Ibsen Volksvijand is a drastic adaptation of Ibsen's A Public Enemy. It is, after Nora, the second of a series of plays, written at request of director Sarah Moeremans, in which Ibsen's mental legacy is being betrayed, enriched and recycled.
In An Enemy of the People (1883), a doctor of a small health resort discovers that the water of the local spring is polluted. Yet the economic stakes are vast and after after a wearing battle with the Mayor (his brother) and the local press, he is chased by the residents as a public enemy.
Ibsen thematises in his piece the battle between idealism and pragmatism, that finally results in a catastrophy. In the Crashtest Ibsen version, the perspective is being moved to the dramatic consciousness of the characters themselves. The characters do not only suffer from an exaggerated dose of idealism or pragmatism, but are also ruined by their own desire for drama. Not convictions, but the addiction to drama makes human beings pessimists and catastrohpy-junkies.
In 1568, 444 years ago, the Geuzen ('Beggars') freed themselves from the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands. All of a sudden, the citizens were free, just like the market. And the state!
About 200 years later, the German playwright Friedrich Schiller looked back at the birth of the dutch fighting spirit in his play Don Carlos and his historical essay The revolt of the Netherlands. He considered the Netherlands as a pioneering country in the world. Here, things went as they should... Mainly in the last decades, the Netherlands have forfeited that image of role model.
Is this the right time for a new revolution? Or has it already begun? Who would actually be the enemy? Nine actors occupy the theatre in order to prepare for the revolt. Accompanied by ghosts from the past, ideas about the present and visions of the future, they climb the barricades.
Der kommende Aufstand is based on a political essay that appeared in 2007 in french called “L'Insurrection qui vient”. The essay was written by actors that called themselves Comité Invisible. Those texts, but also old Geuzen-songs, Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos and Monty Python are being used in this performance to enable a multi-perspectival look on history and the actuality of revolutions.
Translated from Japanese, the title of this performance means : Lost in Translation. This is also the name of a movie that Sofia Coppola made in 2003. Like in Coppola's movie, also in Rosto in Turansureishon, two people are lost. In Coppola's movie they are nog only lost in Tokyo, but also in their own life. Robbrecht parodies this legendary movie and situates it in the dutch 'Randstad'. His Japanese main characters are not lost, but are seeking for the unfamiliar and unknown. In the dutch karaokebar where they end up, they need to conclude that the world has nothing to hide.
Point of departure for the performance is the internationally wide spread but originally japanese invention 'karaoke'. Composer William Bakker creates new songs, inspired by the Shibuya-kei genre and based on Robbrechts texts. Video artist Tijmen Hauer mirrors the story in karaoke-like video-images and designs graphically the subtitles of the songs, sung in Japanese and English. The two main characters are being played by Tashi Iwaoka en Keyna Nara, Japanese dancers of origin.