message from Etienne

march 27 2011 >
Baby sings the blues

A middle aged man is mingling with the festival crowd while he is walking with his pram. The baby in the pram cries a little and the man comforts him. His cell phone rings and we can hear and see that he is receiving an important phone call.

In the meantime the baby starts crying louder. During the next minutes the man gets more and more tangled up trying to cope with the crying baby and managing his important phone call. In the end he gets so aggravated that he throws away his phone and takes the baby out of the pram. It turns out that the baby is nothing more than a wireless speaker.

He tries to turn it off, put it in a trash can but nothing helps to stop the screaming. In despair he hands it over to someone in the audience, turns his back and walks away. The baby stops crying immediately. The man turns around surprised by this unexpected change. But as soon as he takes it back, the baby starts to cry again.

This results in a funny and slightly absurd scene where the man is looking for ways to comfort this baby while interacting with his audience.

All of a sudden, when he stamps his feet out of total despair, the baby starts to laugh. Surprised by the baby’s reaction the man starts to experiment on what happens when he moves and swings the speaker around. It seems to like it, the bigger the swing the better.
In the mean time loud hard rock music starts to play from speakers in the pram. The bass is so loud that even the pram bounces up and down and the baby screams out of pure joy!

After the music stops the man and baby are happy together and take off.

Last summer I performed on summer festivals. What I like especially about festivals (apart from performing myself) is that I get the chance to see other people’s performances. I mostly enjoy the little street performances; one or two actors, singers or dancers etcetera that do a little performance which moves, shocks or makes their audience laugh out loud.
After the making of Mister Molsk I found out that I’ve put my final step (as Marla Kleine describes in her review from the performance she saw in the Krakeling in Amsterdam) in finding my own musical theatre staging: loudspeakers!
Nothing but loudspeakers!
Shortly after I saw a great street performance something came up from somewhere deep inside…yes…yes I…. yes I want…. yes I want to make a street performance! Something…something with… a street performance with loudspeakers! Yeah, that’s what I want!!!
And the idea was born: A man and his baby (a loudspeaker) go out on the street. The baby is in a pram. The man is a visitor of the festival and it becomes soon clear that he has no idea how to take care of a baby. When the baby starts to cry it is the beginning of a heart tearing and hilarious story.
Now, after some brainstorms with Carla Kogelman (agent), Gienke Deuten (director) and Piet Niewint (sound advice) the first rehearsals will start soon!

Something else…
Since I make theatre for children I am convinced that particular scenes from my shows could also very well work on TV. After a long time of just keeping this in mind and after some very serious work with a producer that ended up in nothing I got introduced to the Dutch broadcast organization EO and it all went very quickly; in two days we recorded 22 short movies and soon after they were broadcasted. The result was stunning!
This summer we go with a small team to the South of France to make a pilot movie for international broadcast and film festivals.
To be continued…