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Theatre review: Can you carry a secret to your grave?
Ever thought you would reveal that deep secret in front of a crowd of strangers?
Wait and see
Jeremy Thomas-Poulsen strikes again and this play is even better than ‘Pygmalion’, which I had the pleasure to attend in April.
Our managing editor predicted in his review that Thomas-Poulsen was “clearly on his way to the top of his profession” and the young director didn’t disappoint me this time either with this mysterious and extraordinary new play: ‘Secrets’, a musical, poetical, and theatrical journey inspired by the short texts of Tanja Mastilo, a Serbian playwright living in Denmark.
We all have them
Meeting at Cafe Elefanten in Vesterbro, the mystery began. We were asked to write a secret. Our deepest one.
Who doesn’t have secrets? I thought to myself that deep secret I didn’t want anyone to know and wrote it. Immediately I regretted it. I got scared. What if they made us reveal it in front of everyone?
But at that point, there was no turning back.
A secret place in Carlsberg
At 8pm we were asked to follow a girl dressed in black and holding a sort of flag. We walked through empty, dark streets until we reached an abandoned building.
It felt like I was joining a kind of sect, and that was before they started giving us candles, positioning us in a big circle chalked on the floor. It was like I was in a movie.
After a confessional introduction by Sue Hansen-Styles – who as the founder of Why Not Theatre is well known on the local scene for her outstanding acting, which she never fails to live up to – about her secret affair, we are taken to another room where we place our candles and are invited to sit down by the ‘secret keepers’.
The secrets keepers
So, that’s what they call themselves, but what if they really existed? Playing with this idea over the course of the play, Thomas -Poulsen shows how magical it is to have secrets, but also how guilty we can feel holding onto them.
Deep secrets, funny secrets, sad and dirty secrets, you name it, they go through them all, with some really remarkable acting performances by the three main actors.
I must admit, though, that young Nathan Meister steals the scenes he’s in, eliciting several laughs in the process. While Alexandra Jespersen really hits me in the gut with her tearing secrets.
The live music by guitarist Rasmus Rhode, sounds effects and lights are all effective at maintaining the intensity and keeping you submerged in the story.
Your secret is safe with me
“The audience will take away a unique and personal moment that will inspire them to examine their own secrets,” explains Thomas-Poulsen. And it definitely happened to me.
It’s a play that makes you stop, whisking you away from your day-to-day hectic routine. You will rethink and re-evaluate your life.
I’m reminded how the only secret you can keep is the one you keep to yourself as a secret will only remain a secret until you promise someone not to reveal it.
From the beginning to end the whole experience is unexpected, yet fantastic, but don’t let me tell you the end of this story, because it is a secret you must find out for yourself.