Confused souls in De City

Confused souls in De City

Dec 10, 2013 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
As a twenty-five year old writer, hummusaddict, night decorator, Master student, secret girlfriend of James Franco and lover of thick books, I totally agree with the saying that wolves don't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.

On a windy Monday evening I meet two young women in De Smoeshaan, behind Leidseplein. We’re here to talk about De City, their theatre performance which is having a comeback in Het Compagnietheater. Director Marijke de Kerf and actress Naomi Velissariou both graduated form the Toneelacademie Maastricht. The brunettes apparently haven’t seen each other for a while; ‘How are you?! I’m fine and you?’ are they chitchatting while smoking a cigarette. After we sit down again De Kerf asks me firmly but friendly: ‘So, shall we begin?’.

Of course, tell me what’s the theatre piece about?
M: “Ah, I expected this question but it’s hard to give you a concrete summary of the story. I would say it’s about three people and how their lives befall them. Instead of having control, they desperately trying to get a grip on it. The character Chris is standing in front of his office but can’t get in. His wife Claire has become a frustrated translator instead of a writer and their neighbour Jenny is very lonely for some reasons. In the press release I called it a ‘macabre performance with humour.”

N: “Don’t you think the word macabre will scare people off?”
M: “Hmm no, I mean it in an exciting way. The play is just as strange as funny.”

Soon after they start talking you realise there’s something wrong with these three people

I read somewhere that language is very important in the work of the British writer of De City; Martin Crimp. Is that also why you chose it?
M: “Yes, just like Crimp I’m a fan of language. When I read the script it immediately intrigued me because of the natural way it’s written down. For example he interrupts his sentences with ‘ah’s’ and ‘oh’s’, just like any real conversation. Besides it’s meaning the texts have a function on itself. It’s not only about what Chris, Claire and Jenny are saying, but it illustrates their state of being. Soon after they start talking you realise there’s something wrong with these three people. That’s not because they literally say things like ‘I don’t understand my life any more’, it’s much more hidden underneath their words.”

De City 2

N: “The characters are confused and anxious at the same time. My personage, Claire, represents something I think we youngsters all fear. She had big dreams of becoming a successful writer, but ended up as a translator. Maybe because she doesn’t want to admit this she makes up stories all the time. She’s living in between dream and reality and therefore confuses herself and the audience.”

I say goodbye to the two enthusiastic storytellers in the bit smudgy place behind their white wine and a beer. Even if you’re not a fan of theatre I would say this one is worth to watch and solve the mysteries about the bit lunatic characters even De Kerf and Velissariou can’t (or won’t) explain.

De City

When: Today and tomorrow at 20:30
Where: Het Compganietheater, Kloveniersburgwal 50
Tickets: 10 or 15 euro
Online: Facebook event


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