Zie De Appel Buiten
08 Festival


Director David Geysen adapted the play Odysseus van Holland, written by the South-African writer Mike van Graan, for his stage production Insomnia.

A first meeting brought all participants together; director David Geysen, author Mike van Graan, sound designer Carl Beukman, Appelactors Hugo Maerten and Isabella Chapel and all participating students from different drama schools in The Netherlands and South Africa. They talked about the different themes and stylistic aspects of Odysseus van Holland; about differences in theatre(making) in The Netherlands and South-Africa; and about the different expectations their public in The Hague, Jo'burgh, Capetown and Grahamstown would have of them.
They decided to follow their own path, to start working together and to enjoy it, and to trust that the result would be a production that, born from two worlds, would also find it's way to reach these two worlds.

Odysseus van Holland explores, through caricatures, "the nature of globalisation and neo-colonialism in our contemporary world, but rooted in colonial history" . The reception of immigrants and refugees in The Netherlands, and the reception in South-Africa of refugees from other African countries, that led to an extremely violent outburst just now during the preparations for this festival, is another theme of present interest in both worlds.

The text of Mike van Graan is a construct made out of fragments. Short scenes draw in outline a situation or touch a theme, without following the story further, hereby bringing it to an end. The alternation of these short fragments give the play it's speed and rhythm.
In Insomnia David Geysen keeps it's pace, and sound designer Carl Beukman amplifies it's rhythm effectively using invigorating music. This music gives the performance a tantalizing energy, which works through the actors making them dance and sing. With this the performance sometimes works it's audience with the impact of a video clip.
Further outlining of the characters and the translation of the fragmentary scenes on stage, demanded a powerful visual language. Every actor created a very visual scene inspired by a specific fragment, theme or tension from the play; using costumes, lighting, music and props.
In this way they brought about a lot of material that could be moulded and combined, and that by originating from them, fit the actors like a glove.

Enticing themes for this co-operation between The Netherlands and South-Africa, with as a result an enticing stage production. An energy boost from the stage, energy that was present from the first rehearsal day, but was then still awaiting it's future shape. The rhythm get's hold of the audience. And before you know it, you're grooving with the music of inequality in this world; so be aware.

Janneke de Vlas
intern dramaturgy

| Meer