REVIEW.  'Curse!'  van de Roovers: The inevitability of a crisis ***
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Anyone wondering where Bjorn Eriksson has gone after he conquered hearts with his The broken circle bluegrass band and even received an Ensor for best music for it, need look no further: Eriksson is on stage with the Roovers today.

Yet his musical contribution remains less captivating this time: the sound that will stay with us most of all from this piece is the grinding and dragging of sacks of stones that are decisively emptied onto the stage in the opening scene.

We already know that the Roovers are good at repertoire pieces. This time they caught the eye Curse of the starving class, a play by Sam Shepard from 1977. Of the nine original characters in the play, the Roovers and four remain: the four members of the central family. Mother Ella (role for Sofie Sente), daughter Emma (Sara De Bosschere), father Weston (Luc Nuyens) and son Wesley (Michael Vergauwen). It is no coincidence that their names are derivatives of each other: this play is about crisis (it was the oil crisis in the original premiere, the parallels with the energy crisis are now clear), but also about what we pass on to our children, and how little we can send that. Father Weston says at a certain point: “I only saw my father’s poison after I was infected by it myself” and at the same time alludes to the fact that his son Wesley is also waiting for the same: he will also start to drink, flee and not more able to provide for his family.

A bittersweet comedy or satire this one is Curse! not become: the piece gets too little air for that and lacks humour. For a jet black drama, this one is Curse! then too good. But the Roovers did manage to tell a story full of poetic images (that empty fridge! Sara De Bosschere, who is bloodied – because she has just started her period – reluctantly takes off with her motorcycle helmet!). The sketch of their dysfunctional family may not quite touch, the inescapability of the curse that rests on them grates at least as much as the sound of the stones in the beginning.

the Rovers
On display until February 4, 2023
Tickets, info and playing days:

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