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Three performers are giving an absurd one-hour crash course envisioning the future of warfare, while engaging the audience physically and slowly turning the
theatre into a theatre of war.
The Great Warmachine is challenging the ways we conceive of war and violence in relation to technology and economy.
The Great Warmachine has toured extensively in The Netherlands and Belgium since it premiered on
March 4. 2015 in Theater Frascati, Amsterdam.
The performance has been received positively by critics and online media (one of the ten best performances of last season, best text of last season) and has been
selected by the jury of the Theaterfestival (Belgium). The Theaterfestival forms the kick-off of the new season and presents the best performances of the previous one.
ABOUT THE GREAT WARMACHINE
AITANA: I mean the next few wars – and really probably we are right in the middle of one – …
AITANA: …the next wars are really not going to be fought with armies and soldiers.
TASHI: Oh no.
AITANA: I mean, that is really a nostalgic idea… the concept that we have nowadays of the soldier.
LOUIS: Oh that's quite hopeless.
AITANA: What we need now is an expanded notion of what a combatant can be… like, already if you
look at urban warfare today… I mean, civilians become combatants and combatants can become civilians
in no time. Identity can be changed as quickly as gender can be feigned, to the extent that it doesn't make
much sense to hold on to these kinds of distinctions between soldier and civilian. It's like asking: What
kind of colour does a chameleon have? Which doesn't make much sense, right?
TASHI: Wow, that's really well formulated. That's really some insightful poetry going on right here...
AITANA: Well, I really love poetry.
(Fragment from scene 1: “Out of the box”)
The theatre of The Great Warmachine seems to function as futuristic think tank; a playful, fashionable, sportive, relaxing and nourishing environment, created to optimize the thinking that needs to be done.
The audience is invited to sit down on beanbags on stage or in the audience seats, where they can watch the stream of video's on the five screens and share a 'green' coke, whilst listening to the three friendly smiling, yet ambiguous figures that engage each other and their listeners in a future vision of war.
Surfing on the current international discourse on technology, economy, society and culture, the performers bombard their
audience on a trustworthy (conference-talk inspired) tone with (ethically) debatable beliefs that they easily
exchange for improved ideas; a theatre of progress rhetoric, completely saturated with war-motives.
Both attractive and repulsive.
As the performance continues, the temperature raises, the ideas start to spin and the audience gets more
physically involved, petted, caressed, pulled across the stage. Steadily, the performers colonize the space
and the minds of the spectators.
The music is directed and mixed live from one of the beanbags on a tablet. Inviting and familiar in the beginning and tripping trance-like techno towards the end, it offers a
constantly compelling, now and then shifting rhythm and sound, that sometimes aggressively disrupts the talking.
The lighting enhances this cool and sensational atmosphere, sometimes shutting down, or becoming just too bright.
The theatre; its words, sounds, lightning, set, physicality, becomes a discomforting theatre of war that the audience is inescapably drawn into.
In this way, The Great Warmachine demonstrates our reality as a vivid battleground.
Text and Director
in colaboration and performed by
Louis van den Waal, Tashi Iwaoka and Aitana Cordero
Lique van Gerven
Christel van Schagen
Aram Visser en Hamza Ghzili
Produced and supported by
Gemeente Rotterdam, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Fonds 21, Stichting Ammodo, Fonds Podiumkunsten, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and het van Lange fonds.