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Two nameless lovers (Gijs Scholten van Aschat and Maria Kraakman) embark on a tumultuous affair. It happens at the very beginning of Het Jaar van de Kreeft (‘The Year of the Lobster’), nothing precedes it. The characters narrate in the past tense, then switch to the present again. This enables an effective mix of nostalgia and action. In Luk Perceval’s rendition of this well-known novel by Hugo Claus, the moments chosen illustrate the arc of the relationship; impending failure is signalled by over seventy sex dolls hanging overhead (design by Katrin Brack). The lovers exhaust each other, and it’s not a pretty sight to witness.
Lust is choreographed beautifully and the live piano music by Jeroen van Veen provides a score that starts as a subtle addition to what happens on stage. However, over the course of two hours, the music demands more attention and sometimes feels superfluous, as if energy is detracted from the actors rather than added to the scenes.
The production breathes poetry, and source material that talks about complex emotions and explores the bigger questions in life for over 300 pages is inherently tricky to reproduce. It’s a feat to convey these moods and attitudes on stage; Perceval and his team make it happen.
Het Jaar van de Kreeft
English surtitles on Thursdays, imagery by Sanne Peper.
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