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chasing phantoms

A very fitting final Ro Theater production of both director Guy Cassiers (of Proustian fame) and actor Joop Keesmaat, 'Hersenschimmen' ('Out of Mind') is an enthralling, melancholy play about memories and forgetting.

Hersenschimmen - 1

'Out of Mind' (apparently this is the accepted English translation of 'Hersenschimmen', though it strikes me as poor; something like 'Chasing Shadows' or 'Phantoms of Mind' would be closer) is the theatre adaptation of the classic book by Dutch author Bernlef.

Its main character, Maarten Klein, suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and the play follows the process of his mental deterioration, made all the more painful by the presence of his wife (played by Katelijne Damen), who has to witness it all, from the first trivial absent-mindedness to where he starts calling her "mother" and finally doesn't recognize her at all anymore.

Hersenschimmen - 2

Adding to the outstanding performances of the two main actors, this process is visualized in a powerful, trademark Cassiers combination of stage design, video projections and soundscape. Especially during the second half, we enter Maartens head and see his world disintegrate. At one point he and his wife dance (he thinks it's Liberation Day, 1945) and the furniture around them starts to float. After this, the scenery slowly falls apart, leaving him on an empty stage, alone and utterly lost, chasing the last phantoms of his memory...

Rare goosebump theatre -- what a loss Cassiers is leaving.


finding lost time

Finally saw the last episode of the awesome four part theatre adaptation of Marcel Proust 's ' À la Recherche du Temps Perdu ' by the Ro Theater . All directed by Guy Cassiers, probably the only theatre director in Holland who kn… Read the full post »

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