July 5th, 2003

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Smeedwerk: Cinema Mobilé

We went to see Smeedwerk's new piece Cinema Mobilé. Smeedwerk is a theatre company for "location theatre", which means that their shows are always in the open air, on locations that are specifically selected for the type of piece they're doing that year.

Last year, we went to "Val van Paard", about King William III (who was king of both the Netherlands and the UK), in Kasteel Rozendaal. I'm not a theatre buff (so perhaps I'm easy to please), but the way the location was used in the piece was very good, and the characters and story were very entertaining.
I hadn't been to a theatre since, but when Catelijne mailed to ask us if we wanted to see Smeedwerk again, we didn't have to think long. And again, it was very good.

Cinema Mobilé is about a mobile cinema (duh!), ran by three brothers and one woman. Business is going bad, so the eldest makes a deal with a reality TV show. The producer enters their lives and starts stirring up conflicts that had remained under the surface, to get better ratings. (In between scenes, they showed parts of the TV show on monitors, which was a really nice touch.)

The location was excellent again. We went to see it in park Sonsbeek in Arnhem. They had recreated a mobile cinema there (though the public was sitting towards the "projection cabin", with their back to the screen [though there were old westerns projected on that screen, so you had to look over your shoulder to see what was going on there]). Part of the set was an old Citroën camper, which the actors used to climb on or in. Everybody stayed in character the whole time: things were going on on every part of the "stage". While the focus of the story was somewhere else, the other actors were still doing their thing. If you want to see it all, you'd probably have to go see it twice or maybe even three times.
The acting is also very dynamic. People walk off the stage to go see the deer in the park, or they climb on their motor and drive off, which gives the impression of really being there. I don't think you could do that in a building.

Luckily, the weather held up, and a good evening was had by all. We know we're going next year too.
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We got a card from Ghita. The only message was that she congratulated us on our wedding. There was also a calling card: seems she gives workshops bellydancing these days.

I'm going to send her an invitation and write a short note saying that we should catch up before the 22nd. I'm really curious to see what she's like these days.
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