It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend

A speech can be a mighty weapon. Throughout the centuries it has enthused countless masses and galvanized them into action, for better or for worse. It has unleashed revolutions and fueled wars. Just by the power of words. But a speech does not only enthuse the hearers, often it also transposes the speaker into a state of trance. Then he loses himself in a stream of words, in an obsessive, ecstatic way of speaking. The power of a speech often depends on the trance of the speaker.

In It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend Lisbeth Gruwez dances the trance of that ecstatic speechifying. In the process, she takes advantage of fragments from a speech by the ultraconservative American televangelist Jimmy Swaggart.

Initially the parlance is friendly and pacifying, but from his compulsive desire to persuade transpires growing despair. Eventually it exposes its deepest nature: violence.

It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend is the first installment of Lisbeth Gruwez’ triptych of the ecstatic body, also comprising AH/HA (2014) and We’re pretty fuckin’ far from okay (2016).

Rarely have image, movement, light and sound invigorated each other so powerfully. This turns ‘It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend’ into a subtle masterpiece that has managed to entrance the jury into a nearly magical state.
– Jury Theaterfestival 2012 (a selection of the 10 best shows of the season)


Concept, choreography & performance: Lisbeth Gruwez

Composition, sound design & assistance: Maarten Van Cauwenberghe

Styling: Veronique Branquinho

Artistic advisor: Bart Meuleman

Light design: Harry Cole & Caroline Mathieu

Technical director: Thomas Glorieux

Thanks to: Tom de Weerdt

Production: Voetvolk vzw

Coproduction: Grand Theater Groningen, Troubleyn/Jan Fabre, Theater Im Pumpenhaus and AndWhatBeside(s)Death

Diffusion: Key Performance

With the support of: the Province of West Flanders, the Province of Antwerp, the Flemish Community and Arcadi Île-de-France/Dispositif d’accompagnements