Dood Paard

MedEia is a contemporary version of the Medea myth and deals with love and its many truths and lies. The text of medEia is not an adaptation but a newly composed text, written by Oscar van Woensel in close collaboration with Kuno Bakker and Manja Topper. The play is written in a form of broken English, which Dood Paard calls Euro-English. It is similar to the kind of English used by people from different countries who are not native English speakers, but in medEia this language takes a more poetic form. The text is interlaced with lyrics of American and English pop songs, which are, like the Greek myths, part of our collective memory. The play centers on the `life of Medea´ as derived from the different versions of the story. It is told from the perspective of the chorus; the chorus as a permanent witness to the dramatic proceedings but unable to intervene in the tragedy. Is this impotence, tragic destiny or an unwillingness to act?

About Dood Paard
Dood Paard (Dead Horse) is an Amsterdam-based theatre company founded in 1993 by Kuno Bakker, Manja Topper and Oscar van Woensel, actors then freshly graduated from the academy of dramatic art. During the past decade, the troupe – supplemented with actor Gillis Biesheuvel – developed into a much talked-about theatre company in the Netherlands and Belgium. Dood Paard is an experimenting avant-garde collective. The group works without a director. The productions come into being in a collective process, during which the actors work together with permanent technicians and – depending on the project – also with a DJ, writers, musicians and often standing guest actors. Time and again, theatre conventions are thoroughly gone into and discussed; by making drastic choices, Dood Paard has become a point of reference within the Dutch theatrical landscape, leading to discussions and polemics. Productions take the topical character of a performance. The classic notion of ‘unity of time, place and action’ is given a new meaning by applying it to the performance instead of to the text. For Dood Paard, it concerns ‘that night’, ‘that theatre’ and ‘that play’. As a result, a strong feeling of ‘live’ prevails during the performances, in which there is consciously room left for new choices, new interpretations and new stage settings. That is why Dood Paard performances are always unique events.
Dood Paard is critical of the social structure and it is committed. The troupe stages political plays, in which the performers bring up for discussion both themselves and the audience. Irony alternates with pessimism, humor is one of the strongest weapons. Boredom, the uncontrollable urge to consume, wealth, tolerance, information, commerce and freedom are recurrent themes in the works of Dood Paard. A production is always founded on a text, but music and moving images are often used as well. New Dutch texts, specifically written for Dood Paard, form part of its repertory. Another part includes dramas belonging to the world repertory, ranging from Shakespeare to Handke. Dood Paard also mounts plays based on texts that were originally not intended for the stage.

A performance by: Kuno Bakker, Oscar van Woensel, Manja Topper, Iwan Van Vlierberghe, René Rood
Text: Oscar van Woensel in collaboration with Kuno Bakker and Manja Topper
General management: Marten Oosthoek
medEia is an English-language production
Dood Paard is subsidized by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences and the City of Amsterdam.

Haarlems Dagblad, The Netherlands:
"Slides are shown between each of the four acts, random snaps flashing quickly by, confirming the feeling that ‘medEia’ is about everyone and everything. ‘medEia’ is a strong and clearly focused play, in which Dood Paard has found an ideal form: no more cynicism."

August 25, 2007

8:00 PM

  Photos by Sanne Peper