What story shall we tell tomorrow?
That is the question for nine script writers.
No subject is taboo. Deconstructing social themes, from old myths extending to their most personal anecdotes, the boundaries between reality and fiction become blurred. The writers slip ever deeper down in their search for the most exciting story.
Their time is limited and the pressure is enormous.
The Antipodes deconstructs stories from a world in crisis, with a writing desk as starting point.
March 2020, global lockdown.
Overnight, cultural experiences and social gatherings cease to exist. We can no longer enjoy theatre or movies, bars and restaurants remain closed. Even the entrances of some parks are sealed. We feel trapped in our homes. Through a never-ending stream of series and films, fiction is increasingly invading our world.
But who invents the stories that keep us occupied?
We are alienated from life, overwhelmed by the fear that spreads like a virus. We stare out of our windows and we look at our screens. We watch the Capitol being captured by an armed militia. More and more it seems as if we are living in a fictitious world. And then we are assailed by a déjà-vu. The current situation reminds us of a brilliant text by the American author we discovered just a few months earlier: The Antipodes by Annie Baker. A text grasping the essence of the world we live in, now more than ever.
Origin of the project.
Canine Collectif is a Brussels-Walloon collective composed of nine actor-creators with a predilection for storytelling. Their shared passion allows them to create performances with a large group, writing and directing without any hierarchy. In 2019, they created Régis, in which eleven creators and ten young people invite themselves into the house of Régis, a complete stranger.
Canine Collectif invited Frank Vercruyssen from tg STAN to cogitate about telling the story of The Antipodes today. Together they came up with a mix of Walloon, Brussels and Flemish theatre makers, ranging in age from 25 to 60. They contacted the Cételle collective, a group of translators and researchers associated with the University of Nice. They asked them to translate the English work into French, with the utmost respect for the original play. For a whole year, the nine of them sat around a virtual table to create The Antipodes, bringing them eerily close to the world of the nine scenarists we meet in the play.
Although the members of Canine Collectif and tg STAN are from different generations and have diverse cultural backgrounds, they all agree on a non-dogmatic approach. They’re not only actors, but also creators, directors, writers and scenographers. This is a direct contradiction to the working environment of The Antipodes, which is extremely hierarchical and governed by the illusion of meritocracy. Canine Collectif & tg STAN took up the contemporary text to merge their stories and create an image of today's world.
In short, The Antipodes is...
2 companies - Canine Collectif and tg STAN
2 cultures 2 generations of actor-makers
Together they create…
1 contemporary text, 1 original adaptation, 1 collective performance
Every society is shaped by its myths.
But what history would we like to make today?
text Annie Baker ('The Antipodes'), French translation by the University of Nice
production tg STAN & Canine Collectif
from and with Robby Cleiren, Els Dottermans, Louise Jacob, Colin Javaux, Atta Nasser, David Scarpuzza, Benjamin Torrini, Frank Vercruyssen, Camille Voglaire
music Frank Vercruyssen, Benjamin Torrini, David Scarpuzza, Iwan Van Vlierberghe
lighting Iwan Van Vlierberghe
costumes Jolente De Keersmaeker
coproduction De Roovers, Le Central (La Louvière), Théâtre Joliette (Marseille), Théâtre Benno Besson (Yverdon-les-Bains), le Manège Maubeuge, Scène nationale transfrontalière and Théâtre Les Tanneurs with the support of Federatie Wallonië-Brussel – theater, Shelter Prod, Taxshelter.be, ING and Tax Shelter Belgische Federale Overheid.