Rockstars, dinosaurs and pizza boys in Rex vs. Meisje

Rockstars, dinosaurs and pizza boys in Rex vs. Meisje

Sep 4, 2012 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
Laura is a 25 year old nonpracticing psychologist. As a hopeless romantic she loves to write, dream and wander around the city looking for new adventures and inspirations. Stay tuned for an inside peek into the daily life of one of Amsterdam's inhabitants!

Theatre is just not as cool as it used to be. The times when we all wanted to see royal tragedies and kings in tights stabbing each other with bloody daggers are over. Nowadays, plays are almost exclusively visited by people over 50. Last month I went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream with my mum (53), and indeed it felt like I got trapped in a home for the elderly. Young people go to museums, art house films and expositions, but just don’t seem to be setting foot in the theatre.

Maybe it’s time for some refreshing ideas to draw more people to the theatres. That’s exactly what the people from PUP Concepts had in mind when they started a new project. PUP provides opportunities for young actors and artists by acting as a mediator between the artistic and the commercial world. By working with companies instead of the government they’re able to operate independently. This is a great opportunity to come up with new projects where disciplines like art, music and fashion meet. Their latest project is the play Rex vs. Meisje, and appears to be about rock stars, dinosaurs and a pizza boy. To get some clarification on the concept I had a few words with Gover Meit, director of the play.

What is the main thought behind this production?
“I wanted to create a play where people go home with the idea of having experienced more than they expected. I wanted to create a real treat for the audience. We tried to keep the concept simple, accessible and push the degree of entertainment to the extreme. Like going to the amusement park and get into a roller-coaster, for the pure reason of enjoyment.”

People believe that integrating entertainment in a theatrical play automatically means selling your soul.

How did you feel about that, creating a play that has such a high level of entertainment? Didn’t you feel a little artistically uncomfortable?
“Entertainment is an important factor in theatre. I always try to please the audience, whether it’s a profound piece or a really simple one. People believe that integrating entertainment in a theatrical play automatically means selling your soul, but I think it’s necessary nowadays to make an accessible play to tell a difficult story. To communicate a complex emotion to your audience you need a certain level of entertainment. While making this play I came up with the idea to integrate a flow of constant surprises in the piece. Around this idea we created a storyline and we ended up with a play in which a lot of situations occur that you really don’t see coming. I hope that these ingredients and the effect of surprise will make young people enthusiastic for the theatre again.”

Are you satisfied with the play?
“It’s been a great project. Especially the fact that I could ask for anything I wanted. Normally there are a lot of factors that hold me back, like a small budget or lack of manpower. In this collaboration with PUP we went all out to create a play that makes our wildest fantasies come true, instead of cutting the budget. This was our base for the concept, and we tried to hold on to it as much as we could while working on it. I think it worked out pretty good, but of course you have to see for yourself!”

What have you learned from this process and how are you going to use this experience in the future?
“The collaboration with artists from different disciplines have inspired me a lot. I think that is something I really want to hold on to in the future. We worked with professionals that in theory wouldn’t even need a play like this to help their careers, but I noticed that these people loved to participate in a free exercise. A production where they could co-create and have their share in the concept. I’m not sure what’s going to happen now, but we sure have a lot more entries to set up a similar project. I hope it doesn’t stop after the shows, and that the concept and the idea behind the play will live on.”


When: September 5th-8th,
Where: Rozentheater, Rozengracht
More info: PUP Concepts
Tickets: Fringe Festival

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