Martha Balthazar, Jana De Kockere, Barbara T'Jonck, Mats Vandroogenbroeck / KVS
Fri 08.11.2024 - Thu 14.11.2024

In their much-lauded 2021 creation Boerenpsalm, theatre creators Martha Balthazar, Jana De Kockere, Barbara ’T Jonck and Mats Vandroogenbroeck depicted the complexity of contemporary farming practices; this time, they tackle elderly care. How do we grow old in Belgium today, and how long can we afford to postpone thinking about it?

The hallway is long, with a lingering smell of mashed potatoes and disinfectant, the sound of a multitude of televisions chattering. The residents’ slow movements stand in sharp contrast to the staff’s rushed gestures. Is this the playground for our second youth, the landscape of everyone’s future?

Old age does not come by itself. It comes with remembering and forgetting. With pride and fear. With peers and loneliness. Today, it also comes with waiting lists, indexes, shareholders, staff shortages, and plenty of medication. And it comes in due time: anyone who celebrates enough birthdays will be unable to escape it. 

Rustoord is documentary theatre about contemporary elderly care. Through interviews with the elderly, carers, gerontologists, politicians, and investors, the creators investigate the ‘why’ behind care homes’ long hallways, the bittersweet aftertaste of centrally organised care politics in a neoliberal framework, and the tension between care, freedom, and discipline. Four actors from different generations embody this montage of perspectives. Rustoord may not offer an answer, but it provides a glimpse into the complex question that is elderly care today.

This performance is most of all a coming of age, an imagination exercise about what it could mean to grow old if we weren’t so afraid of it. 

Is part of the selection:


creatie | creation MARTHA BALTHAZAR, JANA DE KOCKERE, BARBARA T’JONCK & MATS VANDROOGENBROECK acteurs | actors BARBARA T’JONCK, MATS VANDROOGENBROECK, MIEKE VERDIN, MARK VERSTRAETE design MANUELA VILANOVA geluid | son | sound TOM VAN DEN BRANDE beeld | image ALICE DOOREMAN productieleiding | directeur·rice de production | production manager JUDITH ECKHARDT partners | partenaires KVS, PERPODIUM VZW, NTGENT, C-MINE, DE GROTE POST, CC DE PLOTER met de steun van | avec le soutien de | with the support THE FLEMISH GOVERNMENT