Toneelhuis / Guy Cassiers [BE]



06.02 – 09.02.2013

Love letter

Guy Cassiers and actress Katelijne Damen have adapted Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography (1928) for theatre. Woolf’s novel is a fantastic story about a character who lives from the sixteenth to the twentieth century and changes sex during the course of the story. The hero/heroine embodies a multiplicity of lives and characters. This gives Woolf the opportunity to ask questions about gender and identity.
Orlando starts out as a messenger of the Court, befriends the writers Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, and ends up on a shopping tour of London’s West End in the nineteen-twenties. The character is loosely based on Vita Sackville-West, Woolf’s lover at that time. Sackville-West’s son described the novel as ‘the longest and most charming love letter in literature’.

• In Orlando, Guy Cassiers has once again been inspired by one of the great novels of modern literature. As in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Klaus Mann’s Mefisto forever, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Robert Musil’s Man Without Qualities and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Cassiers also ‘translates’ this work by Virginia Woolf into his own very personal theatre idiom, in which contemporary visual technology once again enters into a dialogue with words and narrative. Cassiers is fascinated by the visual power of theatre, but once again he sees an approach to language and poetry as the most important element. In the beginning was the word. His primary focus on the transformative power of language makes Orlando an ode to theatre and literature.
Actress Katelijne Damen has played roles in Mefisto forever, Under the Volcano and Man Without Qualities.

regie Guy Cassiers | tekst Virginia Woolf | tekstbewerking Guy Cassiers, Katelijne Damen, Erwin Jans | spel Katelijne Damen | dramaturgie Erwin Jans | regie-assistentie Luc De Wit | vormgeving Guy Cassiers, Enrico Bagnoli | lichtontwerp Enrico Bagnoli | geluidsontwerp Diederik De Cock | productie Toneelhuis (Antwerpen)