Archive for the ‘theatre’ Category

the Theatre

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

It’s always busy in the Toneelschuur (Theatre Barn) when my mother takes me there every couple of months. I’m about 10 years old and I like the tiles on the floor in the cafe, and he smell of coffee and cigarettes. There are no other kids here, but I don’t mind at all.

I know we’re going to see a play and I know my teacher from drama class is here too. Drama class has to be my favourite part of the week, and I’m convinced that my mother and my drama-teacher can’t be wrong. My expectations of the play are high.

The name of the group is Carver, the play is ‘The Big Head’. When we come out again I’m impressed, and my cheeks hurt a little from laughing. I think I cried a little too. People I recognise from tv, but not too well, stand at the bar. It’s at least eleven o’clock already. I feel so grown up.

Every following year (with maybe two or three exceptions) I went to see Carver when they played at the Toneelschuur, and their shows were completely what I liked to watch and listen to. Conversation, absurd, funny and tragic, and dramatic, atmospheric music.

The group started in 1989 with a play based on a story by an American short story writer called Raymond Carver, and that’s where they took their name from. The name of the story they adapted was ‘Put yourself in my shoes’. Through the years the people who make up the group, Leny Breederveld, RenĂ© ‘t Hof and especially Beppie Melissen have become my favourite actors. And I have been to lots of other plays with other actors, they really are the best. I can’t imagine any other group of people creating such perfect things together, and embodying everything that I think is funny and beautiful so well. Too bad they don’t make plays together anymore.

Explaining the brilliance of their work is a great example of the inadequacy of (my) language to get things across. And the fact that I so completely recognize and love their style and their works is at the same time a reason to believe that people can feel connected. In this case through a play.

This video is an interview with Beppie Melissen, in a way the ‘brain’ behind Carver, and while she also struggles with the inhibitions of language, she gets her point (the essence of Carver) across pretty well, at least I think so. It’s in Dutch, unfortunately, but if you speak Dutch you should really watch it. Really. It’s very nice and explains a lot that I can’t.