The family is dead! Long live the family!
There are no stories of political power in this Vergeef ons, but a ‘soap on stage’ showing an ordinary family. It all starts with some flirting at Thanksgiving by Harold Silver, a middle-aged historian, and his brother George’s wife. Shortly afterwards, George (deliberately?) causes the death of a married couple in a car accident. Harold starts an affair with his sister-in-law. When George finds out, he beats his wife to death. Harold’s life is shattered, and those of his niece and nephew even more so. And yet he still has to stand by them. Through a series of hallucinatory events, Harold succeeds, almost in spite of himself, in creating a new stepfamily.
The weaknesses of all the characters are presented at a high tempo and in a grotesque atmosphere, as if in a sort of ‘soap on speed’ with a high degree of absurdity. Vergeef ons is both a nonsensical saga and a distressing portrait of a society that is undermining its ethical values: all its mainstays – family, friendship, etc. – are under pressure and are ripe for redefinition. With the help of a first-rate cast including four actors from our co-producer Toneelgroep Amsterdam, in Vergeef ons Guy Cassiers paints a humorous picture of the alienation within relationships and the emotional confusion of our present time.
“There’s a world out there, so new, so random and disassociated that it puts us all in danger. We talk online, we ‘friend’ each other when we don’t know who we’re really talking to ‒ we fuck strangers. We mistake almost anything for a relationship, a community of sorts and yet, when we are with our families, in our communities, we are clueless, we short-circuit and immediately dive back into the digitized version ‒ it is easier, because we can both be our truer selves and our fantasy selves all at once, with each carrying equal weight.” - May we be forgiven, A.M. Homes