Sunken Red is an intimate and equally explosive portrait of a man that is ultimately and continuously devastated by his horrific past ...
This theatrical adaptation of the autobiographical novel by Dutch journalist and novelist Jeroen Brouwers really pulls on all your emotional heartstrings...Presented as a solo monologue in one act, the show has been adapted for the stage by Corien Baart, Guy Cassiers and Dirk Roofthooft.
Extreme tension reigns throughout the piece as the talented Dirk Roofthooft (who performs this play in 4 languages) portrays brilliantly the painful trials and tribulations of Brouwers. Through strong directorial mannerisms, we relive Brouwers horrifying past as he recalls his childhood days spent in a Japanese detainment camp, Tjideng (now Jakarta), in what is now Indonesia during World War 2. The visions he saw as a child continues to scar him throughout the rest of his life and subsequently destroys the relationship he has with his mother as well as every other women (wife or lover) he ever encounters. Through the prose we see and feel the constant anguish and fear that continues to paralyze the author on a daily basis.
The actor Dirk Roofthooft forcefully leads the audience to wander into the maze of thoughts and feelings of Brouwers’- whose tale of survival is a fascinating journey through the depths of human suffering.
Roofthooft is wonderfully expressive; his voice is at times soft .only to rise up loud and forceful at other moments - One could only wish that Cassiers had relied more on the strength of Brouwers' prose and less on the numerous screens and video projections to present his story.
As decor, the stage is set with a gigantic video screen and the actor makes effective use of new medias to produce images that captures the senses. Four cameras capture every line and detail in the actor’s tortured and haunted face. Water and tiles are used as stepping stones to show the blood soaked path of the Japanese internment camp. Extreme tension reigns, reinforced by an exemplary use of these videos and the presence of sound effects and music that is subtlety used.
This play is a concise narrative that touched me deeply. It is a play of living memory that weaved a spell over me and forced me to question how pain can be built around the life of a man...still unable to move away from the spot in the camp he once occupied as a child playing in the middle of hell.
Rouge Decante is presented in French at l’Usine C until the 1st of February