Cotton Court, 30-42 Waring St
Belfast BT1 2ED
Enquiries: 028 9023 0660
Festival Box Office: 028 9024 3042
Tickets for Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 March at 3pm are available directly from the MAC
www.themaclive.com | 028 90 235053
We wish we had something sensible to say.
But a war is too big a thing even for us.
Children know more than we sometimes think (or want them to know) about war. Most will be learning about war in school, however the horror of war is on our TV screens and mobile devices daily at home. We adults find it difficult to explain and never have any real answers for them. Prompted by this, Theater Artemis take the elusive subject by the horns.
Oorlog (War) does not feature any guns or other military equipment, and the uniforms the actors wear are very old-fashioned. The three actors are trying to pull through within a hostile space. Through a series of strongly visual and highly imaginative scenes, the audience will experience things crashing down, bursting, a nose bleeding, little helicopters falling down from a tree, a shower crying, audience members shooting and three soldiers roller-skating and talking backwards, and sometimes bickering with each other.
In developing Oorlog (War), Theater Artemis have worked closely with War Child, an organisation helping to educate young people in war-torn countries. Inspired by lessons provided by War Child, this show breaks down a method of dealing with war in a manageable and engaging way for children ages seven and up. It is a performance that teaches children when people’s ideas clash from time-to-time, they can keep a conversation going to lead to a positive outcome.
Why should you go?
1. The show does not preach about how wrong war is, but rather asks the audience to consider how and where conflict begins i.e. within our own ideas and emotions, to differences between two or more individuals. And how there can be conflict within a family, community, or sports team, or how it can escalate to conflict between communities, gangs or ethnic groups.
2. This award-winning production by Theater Artemis has been created for young people, with space to experience, imagine and share in a safe environment. It provides a launchpad to explore cause and effect, and how a spark can trigger a domino effect and can spiral out of control.
3. Far from being a depressing or sad encounter, this highly imaginative production features edge of your seat action, and lots of surprises!
Come and see this powerful and acclaimed performance & decide for yourself!
UK & Irish Premiere
With thanks to support from Performing Arts Fund Netherlands and the Dutch Embassy.
Downstairs at The MAC is wheelchair accessible, guide dogs welcome and induction loop system available.
“Just over forty years old, director Jetse Batelaan has become established on the international scene as a singular and innovative artist, with a strong and recognizable highly personal approach to theatre. Presenting works of powerful visual impact, Batelaan reinterprets contemporary myths, creating a kind of magic on the stage that seduces even the most sceptical of spectators. Thanks to his masterful use of theatrical conventions, the Dutch director, who chooses to address his works primarily to audiences of adolescents and children, succeeds in involving people of all ages, a characteristic that is intrinsic to great popular theatre. With Batelaan, theatre for children, which is often mistakenly considered to be second-class or in a category below ‘official’ theatre, reclaims the importance it deserves and which has been acknowledged in the past, as the history of the Biennale Theatre demonstrates”.
“Seriousness AND laughter abound in this highly potent and refreshing Theatre for Young Audiences production that takes war as its theme.” de Volkskrant
“Starting a war is child's play, end it peacefully a whole lot more complicated. That seems to be the point that director Jetse Batelaan wants to make in War, his new and again anarchic performance for people aged 7 and up.
But how do you tell young children about what a complex phenomenon war is? By creating an exciting game, of course. One that gets out of control very quickly.” Filip Tielens, De Standaard
“Theater, child's play and reality intersect in an apparent chaos that touches on slapstick." TROUW
So, bring your family along to something completely different that does not shy away from today’s issues and engages kids in a wholly imaginative way.
90 seconds with Jetse Batelaan - The Creator of Oorlog (War)
For 6-year-olds this sounds heavy?
I like a challenge. In a conversation with my own children I noticed that I fell short, because how much can you explain to children? That was the reason for this piece. Children intuitively know that there is such a thing as war. It became clear that this was not my childhood. So it is not a question of age, but of experience.
How did you approach it?
Two things you can not do: on the one hand you can not make jokes about war. You have an ethical responsibility to the subject. On the other hand, you should not try to bring it on stage as realistically as possible, because the audience is too young for that. For me, the solution was therefore to be surrealistic and absurd. We are not explaining war, but dissecting it into small pieces - smoke, screams, surrenders, ruins, to make it manageable. In addition, my three actors declare war on the audience and they respond. To the actors horror the children make this more difficult than you might think to make peace!
How do you deal with the parents? After all, they are taking their children to the theater.
That is indeed less easy. If you're out of this world, you do not have to think about it, do you? I hope for parents who want to share these issues with children in a gentle way. And I trust the teachers. They too must bring a subject across with great responsibility. We also can take care of that.
And what about the reactions of the children who saw the piece?
And, my friends try to make peace, children react with a massive " noooooooooooo ! " And frankly , children just love chaos!