The end of right

As far as Andromache (Minke Kruyver) is concerned, it is war. Even if the struggle for Troy has just been decided. The father Priam, her husband Hector and seven brothers died by a Greek sword and her infant son Astyanax was thrown from the city walls. Having been given as war booty to Achilles' son Neoptolemos (Frank Vercruyssen) and finding herself among a people that is not hers, she is intent on just one thing: tracking down the murderer of her young son. Little does she know that the man she is looking for is Neoptolemos.

Seated at small tables the audience witnesses a psychological dilemma in which the tide constantly turns. The two protagonists walk between the members of the audience, breathing down their necks as well as each others'. Andromache rants and raves, confronts and poisons. But an almost submissive Neoptolemos refuses to play her game. By giving a hardliner back his freedom, you can also sideline him. The avenging angel in his house is a necessary evil for the man who detests war, because "right leads to just one solution".

Although Artemis has prophesized that he (Neoptolemos) will be murdered by Andromache, Neoptolemos seeks reconciliation. Or how Troy should not be a Palestine, Northern Ireland or Iraq. For STAN the New Year gets off to a promising start.

The subdued acting style of Kruyver and Vercruyssen is well suited to Koos Terpstra's sober script. Neither of the two says a word too many; every swipe seeks and finds its target. The result is a compact, powerful play about a highly topical theme.

Stripped of all the ballast and bombast, neoptolemos is majestic in its simplicity. Though sharp as a knife, it also heals with the promise of hope.

Knack, Thijs De Smet, January 10th 2007