From the jury’s report:
With actor Katelijne Damen’s primeval force, her clear, lyrical treatment of Virginia Woolf’s text and the aesthetic visual language of Guy Cassiers and his image and sound designers Frederik Jassogne, Giacomo Gorini and Diederik De Cock, the members of Toneelhuis have added another gem to their oeuvre. Orlando – a biography is both an exceptionally beautiful aesthetic experience and a play that provides food for thought. Orlando tells the story of a fanciful journey through life that lasts three-hundred years. During that time the character barely ages, but he experiences marvellous events and encounters and from one day to the next changes into a woman. With just the right measure of emotions and body language Damen performs the at times almost absurd occurrences with complete lucidity. Woolf uses a narrative form, which in contrast to what the title claims, a biography, provides plenty of scope for the imagination. Katelijne Damen’s execution it brilliant. In this monologue intérieure she delivers the endless torrent of words with seemingly effortless precision, her voice alternating between calm, contemplative, acquiescent, fiery and accepting. Cameras record Orlando’s movements in the space, and show them distorted as in a kaleidoscope. The combination of colour and visual language underlines Cassiers’ skill and amplifies the extravagant, fanciful world.
Theatres in Amsterdam will be hosting the Dutch Theatre Festival between September 5th and 15th 2013. The performance dates for Orlando will be released very soon.
But first Toneelhuis has been invited to stage Orlando at the Printemps des Comédiens festival in Montpellier on June 11th and at the Avignon Festival on July 6th. For further information, go to a www.printempsdescomediens.com and www.festival-avignon.com.