Wednesday, September 26, 2012

At the canal to the left - Bij het kanaal naar links

The play by Alex Van Warmerdam is a co-production between Toneelhuis ( Belgium) and Orkater (The Netherlands). When I bought the tickets for the performances, the person on the phone said: Oh you will enjoy that one. As it is: I feel bewildered, dissatisfied, wondering... The content: two families (one consisting of four people: mother, father, brother Machien, sister Angelique and the other just a father and son Lucien) have a feud since a few generations. Living in dystopian times the mother, seen the father hasn't been paid for a long time, and the son of the other family look for cooperation setting in motion a chain of events. From a depressed woman, she becomes strong while the policeman father grows weaker and grayer. Machien hates the other family for not being of pure blood. The two families are the only six white people left, Angelique being 'the only fertile female'. Under the bridge are the Congolese, to the east 'the pretty but dark' Iranians, to the south the gypsies and Mongolians and along the canal 'it is black with people and who knows where they are from'. Luciens plan is to make a child with Anglique. The mother brokers the deal. After the suggested intercourse, she goes home, embraces her brother who kills her. End of play. People, also the bunch of young boys from an out of town school who had chosen this as a cultural activity laughed. I failed to appreciate the jokes. The play was what a classical play and listening to other theater goers on the way out, it seems I was not the only one to be dumbfounded. A strange effect of the co-production was that in each of the families there was one character speaking the Flemish variant of Dutch which puzzled me for a while what it mean, why...
The introduction was right: I quote: I see a full house. It happens outside, but all of you came here. I don't know whether you made the right choice. I suggest you lower your expectations.
A last positive remark: the actors did a great job in the performance and the school boys were giggly after the suggested intercourse and having seen naked breasts...

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