Guy Cassiers (Antwerp)
February 6-9, 2013
“Roofthooft’s talent is unparalleled. The way he makes sentences flutter away and whispered words float in the air is pure mastery.”
- Rotterdams Dagblad
A classic Dutch novel brought to life by “a performance that takes perfection to whole new level” – SUNKEN RED will “rasp every fibre of your body,” with “language of an accuracy and finesse that has no equal”. This powerful piece, told with an aching beauty by one of Europe’s greatest actors, is an emotional exploration of what is left of the human soul after enduring profound tragedy.
Recently selected as ‘an outstanding and remarkable foreign production’ at a prestigious Czech theatre festival and described by the New York Times as “a cathartic achievement” SUNKEN RED is “a prayer, litany, elegy, farewell letter, ode, curse, cry of despair, self-pitying lament … all these things in one moving, harsh and poetical narration.”
The award-winning actor, Dirk Roofthooft, plays the character of a complex man reflecting on the trauma of his childhood, with an enormously rich, romantic imagination and tremendous longings. Together, with the director, they shape the inner world of a tormented writer traumatized by his experiences in a Japanese concentration camp, where he, as a child, was imprisoned with his mother.
On stage, five cameras observing from every angle depict theatrically what the words do in the book, and as a result of ruthless self- analysis, a self-portrait emerges of someone who is falling apart. The stage becomes a darkroom, bathed in red light, where images of the past are developed and displayed. The viewer enters into his intimate world through multiple lenses, where sound techniques make even a whisper from Roofthooft resound through the theatre. All of these effects aid in taking the audience on a “ journey to the depths of human existence”, producing “a magnificent, if perplexing play”.
Artistic director of Toneelhuis, Guy Cassiers is considered one of the most innovative theatre-makers in Europe. In Sunken Red, he brilliantly directs Dirk Roofthooft, widely considered as one of Europe’s greatest actors. Together they have created one of the most cathartic, intimate and illuminating works in contemporary theatre. The stage is designed as a sort of darkroom, where images of the past are developed. Live-feed video projection captures even the most minute emotion that flickers across the actor’s face, “like recollections erupting in the mind,” making the audience question if we are – or are not – more than what we remember.
‘Sometimes drama is hallucinatory. Like a trip, a dream that lifts you out of your theatre seat. It happens only rarely, but Guy Cassiers and Dirk Roofthooft have succeeded with Sunken Red…’ -De Volkskrant (NL)
// PLUS //
Join us Opening Night For…
// PLUS //
Join us for a very special pre-show talk with Dr. Annette Timm, Holocaust expert from the University of Calgary, at 7pm before Thursday’s performance in our Anniversary Studio on the second floor of the Theatre.
Timm will be discussing how historians (and individuals interested in these subjects) have dealt with the supremely troubling moral aspects of these histories: personal motivations, susceptibility to ideological manipulation, psychological mechanisms of coercion, opportunism and more.
Timm is an Associate Professor of History at The University of Calgary and has been teaching courses and giving public lectures on the Holocaust for more than ten years.
Free to attend, all are welcome!