Guy Cassiers / Toneelhuis [Antwerp]



24.10 – 25.10.2008

Art, politics and power

In the three-part theatre series, Triptiek van de macht, Guy Cassiers focuses on the complex relationship between art, politics and power.

Part one, Mefisto for ever, is Tom Lanoye’s adaptation of Mephisto, a 1936 novel by Klaus Mann. The piece tells the story of an actor who is willingly seduced and misled by a fascist political system.

Part two, Wolfskers, derives from three film scenarios by the Russian film-maker Alexandr Sokurov, which were adapted by Jeroen Olyslaegers. In Wolfskers we see three leaders – Lenin, Hitler and Hirohito – at a time when they are starting to lose their grip on reality.

Part three, Atropa, centres on the Trojan War. The Greek general Agamemnon is confronted with the victims of his decisions. This involved Tom Lanoye rewriting several Greek tragedies. Here, as in his other plays, Guy Cassiers is a subtle master at combining the written word, image and acting.

Although the three parts can be seen as three separate pieces, the whole is more than the sum of the parts. As the trilogy develops we hear more and more echoes. Mefisto for ever is about the temptations, demonic or otherwise, of power. Wolfskers is the story of the poisonous effect of power (wolfskers, or Belladonna, is a poisonous plant). Finally, Atropa is the story of the death throes of power (apart from being a species of toxic plant, Atropa is also the name of one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, who cuts through the thread of life).

director Guy Cassiers | text Tom Lanoye | after Euripides, Aischylos, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Curzio Malaparte | adaptation Guy Cassiers, Erwin Jans, Tom Lanoye | dramaturgy Erwin Jans | with Katelijne Damen, Gilda De Bal, Vic De Wachter, Abke Haring, Marlies Heuer, Ariane van Vliet | styling, set design Enrico Bagnoli, Diederik De Cock, Arjen Klerkx | costumes Tim Van Steenbergen | assistant costumes Mieke Van Buggenhout | vocal contribution Marianne Pousseur | production Toneelhuis | coproduction Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Festival d'Automne à Paris, MC2 Grenoble, Linz09 Cultural Capital, deSingel (Antwerp), Festival d'Avignon, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Maison de la Culture d'Amiens