On the stage, three men. Etuwe Bright Junior is an economic migrant from Nigeria and sees theatre as his last chance to achieve something better in Belgium than working in the factory after a failed football career. Ahilan Ratnamohan lives in Belgium, his background is from the more privileged Australian context, born into a Sri Lankan and Tamil family. Despite his full agenda as a creator and writer, he is more ambivalent about the idea of 'achieving something' or 'becoming a star'. Josse De Pauw has toured the world as a creator, published books and has nothing left to prove to anyone. He is an established star in his own country.
Junior wants to work with texts by Josse. He recites, reproduces, word for word, as perfectly as possible. A war of attrition for the tongue and brain. He occasionally turns to Josse. What does he mean by these words? How should he play this? Josse becomes more and more complicit, but avoids paternalism. Ahilan is somewhere between the two, as both director and mediator. A set-up full of potential for tension and playfulness. Who can become a star and under what conditions? How can these texts and aesthetics, by now part of the Flemish canon, become another kind of poetry?
'Whether this Tower of Babel ever reaches the sky is highly questionable, but Josse Jnr. shows that building it can be meaningful enough. Without spectacle, kitsch or sentimentality, rather gentle brutalism.' – Etcetera
• With a failed professional football career behind him, Etuwe Bright Junior sees becoming an actor as his only and last option to reach stardom. He has previously collaborated with Ahilan in the performance Look on the Bright Side.
• Ahilan Ratnamohan is a performer and theatre maker who works with atypical forms and influences, particularly football and language learning. He often works with people with no classical theatre training. He is artist-in-residence at Kaaitheater from 2023 to 2025.
• Josse De Pauw (Belgium, 1952) is an actor, author and director and part of the artistic core of LOD muziektheater. He worked there with Jan Kuijken, Kris Defoort, Dominique Pauwels, Fabrice Murgia and Gorges Ocloo in recent years.
concept, direction & performance Ahilan Ratnamohan | text & performance Josse De Pauw | performance Etuwe Bright Junior | dramaturgy Petar Sarjanovic | costumes Anne-Catherine Kunz | technics Timme Afschrift & Gilles Roosen | production manager Liesbet Termont | production LOD Muziektheater | coproduction Theater Kampnagel Hamburg, ROBIN vzw, Explore the North / PAFFF Leeuwarden | with thanks to Monty | with the support of the tax shelter measure of the Belgian federal gouvernment | tax shelter partner Flanders tax shelter