Press – Muur
Read article on Muur in Flanders Today here.
Interview with Inne Goris, Pieter De Buysser and Dominique Pauwels here.
“Muur is an excellent and intriguing piece of work. It should tour far and wide, wherever there are audiences willing to reflect on myth-making both ancient and modern. There are many places in Europe where the concept would be embraced: remoter places where millenia ago, unknown people erected standing stones for purposes that have been obscured. It’s a page from the book of mankind’s prehistory that is ripe for re-opening, for reappraisal, and Muur is just the production to do it.”
“The cast perform like professionals, entirely without pretension, delivering the text with straightforward simplicity, undeterred by the proximity of the crowd, comfortable with the surroundings and the microphones. Every element blends seamlessly into a satisfying whole.”
Jackie Fletcher, THE BRITISH THEATER GUIDE
Read the full review here.
I love the work of Inne Goris. I love it because it’s different: it’s not dance, it’s not theatre, it’s not performance art. To explain what it actually is takes a few more words, which is interesting. Because it dares to be stubborn: she doesn’t compromise, she makes no concessions: with her it’s take it or leave it. Because she creates images which inspire new images in your head: it’s always more than what you see. Because in each production she gets involved in some kind of conflict.
It has become a story about staying and leaving, accepting and rebelling. About the meaning and senselessness of choices. About the beauty of the inexplicable. About questioning who you are, and how difficult that is. About the tragedy of getting older and the violence of youth. This director doesn’t explain anything, she forces you to look for yourself, come up with answers, ask new questions, create images. And I like that.
In any case, there’s a lot to see: the imposing “muur” (wall, in English), the few odds and ends the old people have used to make the place their own: plants in corners, tablecloths on tables. But it’s mostly the panoramic views that do it. When the children run in little groups through the open field dressed in bright colours, the abandoned bridge in the distance with behind it picturesque forms of urban chaos, that gets your imagination going. Add in Dominique Pauwels’ powerful soundtrack and a live singer, and you get more than just atmosphere.
Yet I still felt this was a place I wanted to stay for the full 70 minutes. Because it kept me intrigued from beginning to end, because it stayed with me even after it was over. And that’s quite something.
DE MORGEN – Griet Op de Beeck – 17.05.2010
Do you know the joke about the four birds? With Muur (“Wall”, in English) (***1/2), theatrical director Inne Goris provides for an intriguing use of location, above which fragments of text by Pieter De Buysser and music by Dominique Pauwels appear to float rather than intermingle. And what is really strange is that it actually works.
On a vacant lot, half earth and half gravel, where no grass can grow, there it is: Muur. And your heart more or less leaps when you walk up to it because the wall is so tangible you are literally on the look-out for it. Because the audience is not only there as a spectator, but instead immediately becomes part of the story: you become one of the many pilgrims walking around the wall just to touch it fleetingly like the Black Stone of Mecca.
In a strange way, this depiction is close to reality, regardless of the imaginary nature of the story: is it the physical presence of the wall, the actual clash between generations (four old and four young amateur actors), or De Buysser, who refuses to use his script to sing the praises of a monument? Do you know the joke about the four birds? They weren’t singing for anything. It’s the four old birds who go to the wall in Muur. Because behind the beauty of every monument lurks the danger that you’ll suddenly have to sing for your supper. Hand on heart.
KNACK – Liv Laveyne – 15.05.2010
Looking at the crowd of spectators wearing headphones and all moving together towards the enigmatic enclosure, you could have been forgiven for thinking this was an episode of the X-files! Are those local kids out there in the distance playing in the long grass or has the show already begun? In our headphones, we can suddenly hear them playing, shouting, laughing. The headphones are a great idea: each spectator is free to walk around the wall as he wishes and follow the dialogue through the headphones. You can choose to follow the actors around or stay where you are while imagining what is happening on the other side of the wall.
… vast emptiness. Revolving around some amazing children and equally good amateur actors, this is a very poetic work. Lasting an hour, this is a fascinating journey, as long as you have…
LE SOIR – Catherine Makereel – 15.05.2010
Only the Kunstenfestivaldesarts enables you to experience something so simultaneously remarkable, poetic, beautiful and oppressive as what is brought to life in Muur (“Wall”, in English) currently being performed at the Tour & Taxis site.
Spectators are given headphones so that they can listen to the actors’ voices and Dominique Pauwels’ beautiful music (similar to an opera, with soprano Lieslot De Wilde singing live). They wander around each one carrying their own stool and wrapped up in a blanket, shivering from the cold of this desolate landscape. Then, in turn, they become the refugees and prisoners of the wall, of an absurd utopia, of a symbol (the play was written following a request from the Goethe Institute to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall). The final sentiment is blurred, hazy. There is the romantic yet melancholy beauty of the place under the evening sky, the symbolic weight of this huge wall with its yellow interior, and the humanity exuded by characters simply trying to get through life, in their own confused way, like every one of us trying to climb over our own individual walls.
LA LIBRE BELGIQUE – Guy Duplat and Marie Baudet – 15.05.2010
The best part? Walking up to that wall. To that shimmering silver/yellow construction, looking like some sort of op-art mirage. There’s some static coming through your headphones, then some music. You’re wondering what’s going to happen, what to expect. You see kids running around and you think: they probably are playing here all the time.
By now you will have understood that Muur is by no means a traditional ‘play’. All of the time you’re free to walk around on that wasteland. It means that you witness several scenes from close-by and that you miss out on others, because they take place at the other side of the wall, out of sight. There’s a certain intimacy, because you hear the voices of the actors in your ears and Dominique Pauwels’ soundtrack as well, but at the same time a distance is created too.
UTOPIA PARKWAY – Hans-Maarten Post – 15.05.2010