Motel Detroit 3
08 Festival

AD Haagsche Courant

Theatre makers go astray in the footsteps of Odysseus

door Maja Landeweer

Odysseus did not succeed in finding his way home, and the theatre makers that produced the plays for Toneelgroep De Appel's 08 Festival also seem to be lost. Their task: get inspired by the mythical figure that roamed the seas for so many years. For South African theatre maker Jaco Brouwers, this resulted in the montage performance Power, composed of improvisations on the theme ‘power'. Unfortunately the scenes are knit together in a schoolish way, without any clear idea. The young talents from Dutch and South African drama academies therefore also hardly work up to their promise.

Like the 06 Festival two years ago, the 08 Festival is again a cooperation between Appelactors and drama students from South African and Dutch academies. Especially for this event's edition - which aims to offer an exchange between two different cultures and to stimulate young talent - South African playwright Mike van Graan wrote the play Odysseus of Holland, renamed Insomnia by young Appeldirector David Geysen. The text, which deals with the problems of integration, remains very superficial, and even Geysen's beautiful, expressive images can't help.

The only one that fully succeeds his mission is director Wannie de Wijn. He also used improvisational forms. The result - Guests - refers only remotely to the Odysseus theme, but surely forms a robust, complete whole and a hilarious play. It starts mysteriously: actors that foolishly parade across the stage. Only at the end does everything fall into place. A masterly example of storytelling.

| Meer