From the reviews:
"It’s hard to catch your breath after a show like this. Hard to applaud in an appropriate manner (deafeningly). Hard to leave your seat, exit the Théâtre de la Bastille and find yourself in the glare of the streetlights, of the city. Sunken Red takes us into the broken heart and soul of a man with such dramatic intensity, such emotional power, that you come out stupified and transformed. During these exceptional moments, these ecstatic moments, we are reminded of theatre’s greatness, of its irreplacable humanity. (…) The great Flemish director, Guy Cassiers has magnificently orchestrated this heart-rending monologue made up of flashbacks, successive revelations – often horrific ones – and desperate incantations. (…) Dirk Roofthooft plays the tragic hero, the man destroyed and haunted by the barbarity. He makes each word his own, each shift in his character’s soul, without pathos nor grandiloquence. (…) He is nothing less than the sum of wounded humanity." Philippe Chevilley in Les Echos, 7th December 2015
"Conceived more than ten years ago by Belgian director Guy Cassiers, Sunken Red, has continuously toured Europe but has never been staged in Paris. It’s a done deed at last in Théâtre de la Bastille where this play, which is remarkable in every way, can be seen. First of all, in the Dutch writer Jeroen Brouwers’s text, which recounts his childhood memories – he was sent to a Japanese internment camp during the second world war, along with his mother, grandmother and sister. Secondly, in Guy Cassiers’s production which employs all of the magic of his multi-media, multi-sensory theatre. And then there’s Dirk Roofthooft’s performance, he is an extraordinary actor who descends to the heart of human darkness. Deeply moving."- Fabienne Darge in Le Monde, 4th December 2015
"Brouwers’ voice is borne by an profound actor with great subtility, Dirk Roofthooft. Cassiers, a master in his subject, uses lights, sound and video to deepen the complexities of the play. His touch is perfect : he shows us the collapse of a conscience, the shackling and inner dislocation of a troubled soul. But all of this is in Brouwers’ original and Dirk Roofthooft is a performer who plumbs the depths of speech, of the writer’s language in Patrick Grilli’s translation. An incontestably great moment, one to revisit, rediscover and share." - Armelle Hélio in Figaro Scope, 2nd December 2015
"Alone on stage, a man opens and closes the latticed screen of his intimate memories, taking us to the heart of his inner darkness, thanks to a virtuoso device invented by Guy Cassiers. The Belgian director is a true master of multimedia theatre, employed here to create an intimate, literary experience.
In a nocturnal Japanese decor, streaked with fine, red, luminous lines reminiscent of bleeding gashes, Dirk Roofthooft demonstates the extent of his immense talent. He takes us the depths of the troubled, bleary, distraught inner self of this man, envaded little by little by the ‘sunken red’, a veil of blood rising to the surface, at last, like a curtain tearing." - Fabienne Darge in Le Monde, 12th December 2015