CPH Post

Performance

Conflicting ideologies collide on stage


(Photo: Rie Neuchs)

June 10, 2014
07:00

by Nanna G Vansteelant


Freedom of speech? Tolerance? Balancing these is a struggle in the Europe of today.

Pim Fortuyn – the far-right Dutch politician assassinated in 2002 after claiming “the Netherlands is full” – was an unappealing character. Scholarly, racist, charming and openly gay: a modern-day Hitler in the making.

Theo Van Gogh, the left-wing anarchist filmmaker murdered two years later, was described by director Alex Byrne as “an artist who stood up for freedom of expression and the right to offend people”. 

With a bullet wound to the head and a knife in the heart, the two meet in limbo and are forced to infuriate each other for all eternity.

Four European theatres have collaborated in creating this unusual production, where the audience moves around the room with the actors. 

Sound, projections and live performances create a unique atmosphere as the play challenges whether freedom of speech encompasses the right to offend.

At the end of the show, the room is transformed into an interactive exhibition where audiences can delve into the themes of the production.

Inspired by Ian Buruma’s book The Limits of Tolerance, this production has been described as “provocative, wonderfully grotesque and thought-awakening” by Copenhagen newspaper Nordvestnyt. 

Byrne didn’t want to “teach or preach a position”, he told the Guardian. He just wants to make you think.


Pim and Theo
Dir: Alex Byrne

Theatre-V in Prøvehallen, Porcelænstorvet 4, Valby; June 11-12; 165kr