Gorges Ocloo & Dominique Pauwels/LOD
Moby Dick. At last Queequeg speaks
‘It is an evil voyage, I tell thee. If Ahab has his way, neither thee nor me, nor any member of this ship’s company will ever see home again.’
Gorges Ocloo had wanted to create a production based on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick for some time. The pieces started falling into place when he saw a photo of an 11-year-old girl who had drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Did she – as one of the first victims of a sunken refugee boat – know beforehand how dangerous her journey would be? And would the taciturn Queequeg have boarded the Pequod if he had known about Ahab’s reckless mission for revenge?
For this adaptation, Ocloo called on the celebrated, award-winning Nigerian writer Ben Okri, who adapted the novel into a magic-realist story about the gulf between power and powerlessness, high and low, rich and poor. After the boat has sunk, Ahab and Queequeg exchange ideas for the first time, detached from status and ego. Josse De Pauw and the mezzo-soprano Nobulumko Mngxekeza-Nziramasanga take to the stage. Together, they perform an energized and jazzy opera about the need for rapprochement in an increasingly polarized society.
• Gorges Ocloo studied theatre direction at the RITCS, and his graduating project Scarlet Anansi Ocloo was likewise staged at the Kaaistudios. This young creator pursues a varied career, from dance, performance, community arts, visual arts and scenography to the composition of music for theatre and dance.
concept & direction Gorges Ocloo | composition Dominique Pauwels in collaboration with Toon Callier | after the book by the same name by Herman Melville | text Ben Okri | adaptation Gorges Ocloo & Bart Capelle | with Josse De Pauw | soprano Nobulumko Mngxekeza-Nziramasanga | musical execution Toon Callier | repetitor Jan Debel | scenography Giovani Vanhoenacker | light Jannes Dierynck | sound Brecht Beuselinck | technics Johannes Ringoot, Lukas Vanhoutte (intern) | costumes Freya Proost | production manager Kristel Deweerdt | production LOD muziektheater | co-production C-TAKT Pelt, deSingel, CC De Grote Post, Kunstencentrum Vooruit | with the support of the TAX Shelter measure by the Belgian Federal Gouvernment | tax shelter partner Flanders Tax Shelter