Oerol 2008!!! Impression and reviews

Terschellings Oerol Festival is an annual location-specific theatre festival held on the Dutch island Terschelling in mid-June. Location-specific theatre, theatre in barns, sheds and on the streets, modern dance, opera, visual art, music and the various cross-overs are the ingredients of a festival that uses the whole island as its stage. Over the past 25 years, the festival has grown from a small-scale street festival into an internationally recognised, multi-disciplinary festival. 

This year Terschellings Oerol Festival took place from 13 through 22 June. The theme of the festival had everything to do with ‘time’.

Our bold warrior visited the following performances:

Beumer en Drost: ‘Dick Bos’: 7.5 out of 10

Very well created and executed. At times quite funny. Especially the interaction with the old neighbour-lady. Entertaining. But a bit simple. The main character was convincing and quite facetted, but the story line very one dimensional and predictable. A beautiful show for younger people.  

For an interview and a video with some scenes from the performance (in Dutch), check out: http://weblogs.nrc.nl/weblog/cultuurblog/2008/06/15/oerol-2008-dick-bos-video/

De Jongens: ‘Under Construction’: 5 out of 10

Fragmented, long and pointless. The high energy and enthusiasm of the actors kept the warrior from falling asleep the first twenty minutes. Unfortunately there were 40 minutes more. In which NL-FA had started. Not good. 😉

Boogaerdt / Van der Schoot ‘Tsjechov bij de bushalte’ [Tsjechov at the bus stop]: 5.5 out of 10

Interesting location and concept. Solid acting. Rather uninteresting play-writing. Infinite use of the ‘weapon’ of repetition. Yeah…we get it by now. And…oh…how funny…a high-heeled woman falls into a creek, and yes…she’s stuck. Can we please move on? When is that damn bus coming!!!!!

p.s. Thanks Marjan and Rick for giving the late comers their two minutes of fame:  

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For a different take on this performance check out: theater centraal

Laura van Dolron : ‘Laura en Lars: 8 out of 10

Laura van Dolron shows she is a solid and highly entertaining performer. Her style is daring and disarming, the content of this specific performance a tad superficial though. Van Dolron starts by briefly laying down the theme of the performance, her love for Lars von Trier, but mainly by talking about her main theme, herself and her love for standing in the spotlight. During this slow start she remarkably quickly succeeds in creating rapport with the audience, making us feel we are her friends. Though the friendship got quickly tested when Van Dolron shot some seemingly out of character quick-shot remarks like ‘Can you imagine what it would be like to be a smart character in a Heleen van Rooyen book? [ed.]’, that apparently hit the target for the (in our view notoriously overenthusiastic) Oerol crowd, but seem a bit too easy and stand-uppish for this high-potential performer.

Though Van Dolron was able to keep us interested for more than an hour straight with her captivating stories and to the point observations, especially about the black and white depiction of women in movies and literature (saints or whores), she never dove under the surface of the first sketches of her theme. Her observations were entertaining, but mostly safe and thus less relevant (except for the odd sharp remark like the one about the feminists (‘whores in denial’) :-), quite daring considering the suspicion that this group seems to be very well (even rather over-) represented in the Oerol audience). Hardly any subject was touched upon deeply enough to leave a lasting impression, apart from the ‘theme’ that was Van Dolron herself. But where Lars came in, and the actual relevance of that theme for her or for us remained unclear. Her convincing authenticity and flow of positivity compensated for this, letting the audience leave with a good feeling, but not with an overkill of food for thought. 

All in all Van Dolron shows to be a gutsy and talented lady. Definitely worth checking out…

For a review by Vincent Kouters (in Dutch) 

Volkstheater: ‘Zeeuwse Nachten III’: {5 out of 10]

(review to be inserted later)

Artemis: Priemgeval

Have not been able to get tickets for this one…But we’ve been told by many that it was a great performance.

 

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Danubiana museum in Bratislava: Lucebert exhibition!

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This Friday our warrior visited this beautiful museum on a unique location, on an island in the Danube, in Bratislava. The Danubiana museum has been founded by Dutch businesman and art lover Gerard Meulensteen, and had the honour of a 5-hour(!) visit by our Queen Beatrix last May.

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Lucebert (Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk): Major Dutch poet, painter and photographer (1924 – 1994).

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Oerol 2007!!!

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Three days on Terschelling, one of the little islands North of the Dutch main land, filled with experimental drama (Office Symphony, Good Cop/Bad Cop), dance (Club Guy and Roni!! Superb!!), satire (Volkstheater with Zeeuwse Nachten!!), Puppetry (The wrestler!!! Super), and international performances (e.g. Uncle Wanja by Tjechov in French, in the wet grass, on a single wooden plank, rainy cold, duh!), mesmerizing stories told by glass shells in the dunes, great parties (Heartbreak hotel!), and lots of fun with the warriors friends and their children in a comfortable holiday house (see pix!).
Good food, nice drinks, an excellent hot spring outside, what else could we ask for?? 🙂

http://www.oerol.nl

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[a short impression of one of the performances, unfortunately not the best one we’ve seen, follows in 2 weeks time]

p.s. The warrior is still waiting for a ‘goedmakertje’ from Mr. Manno Mans. No, cycling for one hour(!) in the rain around 1AM in pitch dark only to find her date has left the party for the dunes, even be it for a ‘good’ reason, is even too much for the lone warrior. And yes, that girl did look great, the warrior admits.

Short tale: The Photos

[Music of Mozart’s Requiem starts]

Rows of photos. Pictures of people.

Sometimes I focus on a person. Just because he has a patch on his face. Or because the look on her face is unusually intent. Every picture is moving. Behind every picture there was a life. Behind every picture there was the same ending.

I am in a prison museum. This place once kept around 1,500 people at a time. Some 20,000 people were here. Only 7 survived.

After they were transported here, their picture was taken. Sitting on a special device, to keep their head up. A sort of pin sticking in the back of their head.
They carried a number round their neck. Sometimes you can see they had been interrogated already.

After the picture was taken, they were stripped to their shorts. And got to sleep with a 100 people in a cell , spoonwise. No permission to turn your head unless asked. For every whisper or movement there was a flogging. Then there were the interrogations. 24 hours a day. The interrogators took four hour shifts. The ones interrogated took longer shifts.

Many many pictures. Also of young children. A mother with her baby. One white guy.

None of them seemed to look scared. Didn’t they know what lay ahead of them? Or did they accept the inevitable? None of them looked angry or defiant. Were they apathic, could they not think anymore? Most of them looked relaxed, a bit sad at most.
I felt a lump inside my stomach.

What were they thinking?

That is what I think when I am sitting here. It was so long ago, and still these faces and these rooms haunt me. The torture rooms where they kept a steel bed without a mattress. In some an unfocused greyish picture of how they found the last ones, when they ‘liberated’ the place. The tiles were a warm yellow. As were the walls. The rooms were spacious. The windows looked out over packed balconies and busy alleys, you can hear people chat and children laugh. Tree branches wave in the wind. Why then this chill up your spine. Because it is clear what happened. No need for the music. No need for special effects. True teeth clenching mind blowing horror in your face. Knowing this was then, but probably happening as you are standing there somewhere in some remote or less remote part of the world.

Every 10 seconds a baby is born, every 9 seconds a person dies. How many seconds before another person takes some torturing?

The leg of the chair cuts inside my calf. I squint. I try to move my butt but my arms are too tightly wrapped around the back of the chair.

They said they would take my picture first. I wish I could get some water. And a smoke, although I do not smoke.

Sometimes a dry wind brushes my face. I feel drops of sweat run down the the back of my calves. At least they let the window, barred, open. At least I get to sit in a chair.

Oh, there they are.

I do not understand what they are saying. Their faces are not that unfriendly. A bit detached maybe. One carries a camera and points it at me.

I look straight into the lens and try to keep my chin up.

[Music fades away]

Water ballet and Modern ballet (I)

The warrior’s mother and sister had arrived. After some fun activities on their day of arrival, doing some cable-ski wakeboarding at the East Coast, and the day after repeating the same activity,

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but then behind the speed-boat, accompanied by the always fabulous sexy-house compilations mixed by DJ Griffin, the warrior felt it was time to engage in some spirit-lifting less earthly activities, meaning: a good dose of high brow art.


(to be continued)

Short and sweet

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Highly entertaining and impressive! Chapeau to the organizers of Short and Sweet firstly held in this little city country: Mark Cleary, Alex Broun and Elena Yeo (a.o.). Special words of appreciation go to: ‘Dead in a box’ written and directed by Michael Corbidge, ‘Exchanges’ written by Richard Lord, directed by Zoe Christian and ‘4 seconds’ written by Leon Foo, directed by Christina Sergeant, although ‘Lester’s list’ and ‘Frostbite’ were highly enjoyed too.

This innovative and fresh theatre festival features 40 ten-minute plays that showcase the best of Singapore’s established and emerging Writers, Directors and Actors including Tracie Pang, Christina Sergeant, Samantha Scott-Blackhall, Michael Corbidge, Noorlinah Mohamed, Ng Yi-Sheng, Loretta Chen, Ovidia Yu, Katerina Tiapula and many more. So be prepared for an exciting mix of comedy, murder, betrayal, and romance with a dollop of sex thrown in. And that’s just in the first ten minutes!

Catch these and more 10-minute plays this weekend. Or even visit the gala final 2 May, 7.30 at the Esplanade! Hurry, there are limited tickets available…

http://singapore.shortandsweet.org/