STAN - blijf / weg

The constant fracas gives the script a pleasing agility without detracting from the drama.

A couple on the stage. The auditorium light is still on. They discuss the room they are in. Should they take it? And the uncertainty which will lodge itself ever deeper in their relationship, immediately sets in. It is not long before the conversation which began with "I love you" turns into a veritable tirade of abuse and effortlessly escalates to taunts like "I'll shit in your face", "Blood is going to flow" and, even stronger, "I'm going to murder somebody"! Tine Embrechts and Frank Vercruyssen play a couple in a weary relationship. Their marriage has become a burden and they are constantly at each other's throats. But however high the emotions run, however much they manipulate each other, they seem unwilling to go their separate ways. Is it possible there is still love between them, albeit repressed? Or is it really the children and the money which stand in the way of their divorce?
Tg STAN borrowed the husband-wife relationship, staged here in deeply human dialogues translated by Frank Vercruyssen into tripping Flemish, from the novella Plumes de bécasse by the relatively unknown Greek writer Thanassis Valtinos (°1932). Vercruyssen kneaded often painfully recognizable, modern-day themes into a fluent game of linguistic ping-pong. The seasoned characters experience emotions a contemporary audience easily comprehends. Moreover, the constant fracas gives the script a pleasing agility without detracting from the drama. The tirades are starting points for what proves to be more than a play about trivia. Quarrels like "You've turned my white sports shirt into a floor cloth" introduce a narrative about independence and oppression, but they also raise questions. How difficult is it to live together and to make unanimous decisions? Why do people choose each other? And is it possible to go through life alone? At the première the actors really got to grips with questions like these. Remember that tg STAN has a reputation for hardly rehearsing. But Tinne Embrechts and Frank Vercruyssen speak more or less the same language from start to finish. Their arguing and fault-finding goes down extremely well with the audience. Yet the script is so convoluted that it becomes just a rather charming means of communication for an actor who really gets his teeth into it. Fortunately they both do that with gusto here, make no mistake about that!

Zone 03, Sanne Nuyens, November 17th 2008

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