Space [NL]

Holland Tsunami Drowning in Europe

24.11 – 25.11.2009

A hilarious ‘mockumentary’

Global warming has resulted in a noticeable rise in sea levels. The Netherlands has vanished beneath the waters and all 16 million inhabitants are being taken in by the hospitable Hungarian people. These rather gloomy suppositions form the basis of the lively performance called Holland Tsunami. Drowning in Europe by the Dutch theatre group Space.

Space describes its work as ‘internationally-produced interactive exploratory surgery on identity’. The core of the group consists of the Dutchman Luc van Loo and Petra Ardai from Hungary. In Holland Tsunami they have created a new theatre form which they describe as ‘mockumentary’: dignitaries make pronouncements, those who are involved and ‘people on the street’ are interviewed, and specialists say their piece, all of them without exception supporting the gloomy assumptions. The result is an occasionally hilarious spectacle which, despite its fictional approach, nevertheless reveals many ‘truths’ about Dutch and Hungarian identity and the difficulties of the multicultural society in general.

The mockumentary includes musical intermezzos, a lesson in Hungarian, a reception and many filmed excerpts which the three ‘storytellers’ put into context on stage. This generates an on-the-spot discussion, a debate with the audience.

In all Space’s performances the audience is an active and intense part of the dramaturgical concept and of the here-and-now experience the evening becomes. As far as Space is concerned, performing outside the national borders is not so much a business strategy as an intrinsic element of their artistic vision and the best way to make each performance unique. In view of this basic principle, each performance is adapted to the evening’s audience. Even though Holland Tsunami remains a ‘realistic fairy tale’ about Dutch-Hungarian relations, there will be questions that none of us can avoid.


concept Space (Petra Ardai, Luc van Loo) | text Petra Ardai, Feico Sobel, Báint Solymosi | video Marloeke van de Vlugt, Ernst Süss | sound Luc van Loo | with Petra Ardai, Luc van Loo, Bojana Mladenovic | dramaturgy Nienke Rooijakkers, Anna Veres | research Feico Sobel, Eszter Babarczy | technique Udo Akemann | production Markell Helmann | co-production Talló Gergely | management Wilma Kuite | starring in the video: experts: Pieter Hilhorst, Joris IJzermans, András Hajós, Thuróczy Szabolcs; Dutch people in the Netherlands: Hoekstra family, Mr and Ms Timmermans, Duro Toomato, student home Idéfix, Anil Jagdewsing & Bas Jilesen, Klaas Wagenaar, Seher Sborucu; Dutch people in Legénd (Hungary): Runa Hellinga, Tonnie & Dianne and Hans & Annet, and their children | supported by Nederlands Fonds voor de Podium Kunsten+, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Low Fesztival Budapest, Workshop Foundation Budapest, Flórián Mıhely – Mozgóház Alapítvány, ÖKM, Artus, Független Színházak szövetsége, Webstar