MUSIC THEATRE | NOVEMBER 2021
The longest bill is after you. The invoices are after you. The rent, the truth is after you. The city, all and everyone, the neighbours and the cats, the sun, they’ll find you and they’ll see you run – but now, my child, let go. You’re dreaming.
De Megalomaan (The Megalomaniac) is Dutch music theatre about a young person’s inability to cope with the loss of dreams. I wrote and staged it as a storytelling event, where the audience is joining the actors and musicians on stage and all theatricality is deconstructed to the bare minimum.
In writing of this story, I delved into the clashing of childlike dreams with the harshness of the adult world. Incorporating the overflow of first encounters when someone is coming of age – finances, housing, loss of innocence, of dreams and death.
We hear Oda’s story is in her own words. She sees her city as its ground plan shows it. Eighty-six blocks of cold concrete where people work, and that work mainly concerns numbers. Numbers she doesn’t get. Oda is lost in this labyrinth of symbols and unable to escape it, she decides to make the changes needed herself by building a block of her own. A tower at the edge of the city. Brighter than all the ones she knows. But when reality comes knocking, it hits hard.
A STORY IN CONCERT
The show is a mixture of storytelling, sound design and music. It’s quite pared back in terms of performance. There is a divide between narration and acting out the scenes in Oda’s head with a little more colour, but that’s all. A nod to how stories were told by troubadours or grandparents, and an outstretched hand to the audience’s own imagination.
For music, we hear a viola, a flute and a vibraphone, which in Weronika Ast’s composition tackle the story using leitmotifs. Then, there’s my sound design that creates subtle atmospheres. The more digital, the more alienating, the more Oda drifts away from reality.
The Megalomaniac was performed at Toneelacademie Maastricht in November 2021, by Maggie Symonds, Luka Kluskens, Cor Langerak, Meike Brouwers, Noë Verschelde and Colin Crandal. The music was composed by Weronika Ast. Text, staging and sound were created by me.