Hostage tragedy reconstructed in an imaginative way : children allowed !
On September 1st 2004 more than 1200 schoolchildren and their parents and teachers were taken hostage by a group of armed terrorists in Beslan, a little town in the Caucasus. The action lasted three days and ended in total chaos. That the greatest evil (the terrorist) chose the greatest good (a group of children) as victim shocked the entire world. In Wij/Zij the Brussels youth theatre company puts two characters on stage who look back on these three days with an almost scientific accuracy in an effort to get a grip on events that are extremely complex and intangible in all their horror. Apparently without emotion the two personages describe all the details of the hostage, like in a book. Next to that there's also the imagination of the children : the invasion of the terrorists is acted out as if it were a heroic scene from an action movie.
Director Carly Wijs was an actress in various Dutch films and series next to her theatre work with among others Ultima Vez and Josse De Pauw. Together with the young actors Roman Van Houtven (P.A.R.T.S.) and Gytha Parmentier (KASK) she proves in Wij/Zij that she has caught the right tone to transpose this horrible tragedy to the theatre. Sober but at the same time full of fantasy and humour, Wij/Zij places the view of a boy and a girl on this event versus that of adults because what seems incomprehensible in the eyes of adults has a logic of its own for children. That this very physical and energetic performance goes down well with a young audience was proved by the children's jury of the Theatre Festival who selected it as one of the best of the season. Also Cobra.be reacted enthusiastically : “The lightness and humour in this piece are the weapons that prevent Wij/Zij from becoming a heavy performance without detracting from the seriousness of the events. Wij/Zij deserves to be seen by a lot more children (and adults).” The English version, Us/Them was thé hit at the past Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Guardian awarded five stars and Us/Them also won a prestigious Fringe First Award !
*19.11 - Bronks + Jan Martens
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Carly Wijs WITH Gytha Parmentier, Thomas Vantuycom, Roman Van Houtven DRAMATURGY Mieke Versyp SCENOGRAPHY Stef Stessel FRENCH VERSION Carly Wijs
Duration: 60 min
Location: Lille - Le Grand Bleu