The pie chart of the world
Raven Ruell and Jos Verbist have both worked as directors at the KVS, Theater Antigone, NTGent, Bronks, Arca Ghent and other theatres. They teach at the RITCS and the Conservatoire in Liège. Working with talented young people is a thread that runs through their careers. Oeps, of het Groote Mondiale Taartgevecht in 17,5 burleske sketches is a production they are doing with present and former students.
The occasion: the Great War. The reality: the world around us. Which we nevertheless do not see. But after this performance we will. Awakening the world’s conscience, is that history?
Jos: ‘For two years we have studied the First World War and its parallels with the present day. Sykes and Picot, two civil servants, drew a line through the Middle-East region: French influence here, British influence there. When the world is divided up like a pie it causes numerous wars.’
Raven: ‘These topical matters provide an approach to Oops: who made money during WWI and who does today? The West created ghost towns in Iraq and Syria. Clans fight it out and we drop bombs. This economically attractive chaos leaves the field open to claims on the oil.’
Raven: ‘We are so proud of our press freedom and freedom of expression, but information is always ideologically tinged.’
Jos: ‘In previous performances a female student who occasionally drank tea with Maghrebi people in Brussels reacted. When she saw scenes from Baghdad and Damascus on television she felt the people’s pain. Their view is different from ours. As a theatre-maker you hope that you can change someone’s way of seeing.’
Raven: ‘So that you can understand the present, perhaps. But it will above all be good theatre.’