"The dialogue between the countries remains sterile. We reject what we don’t know. And this is the card that draws the extreme right and populism. As I have already illustrated in De Welwillenden, there is a monster lurking in our hearts. At any moment, that monster can be drawn into a power game…. Although I don’t fear the imminent return of fascism in Europe, I deplore the reintroduction of all those borders that point to an absolute lack of political responsibility."
Mister Linh flees his war-ravaged country in search of a better future for his granddaughter. Mister Linh doesn’t feel at home in the foreign land where he finds himself, until one day he meets mister Bark.
Mister Bark talks mainly about his wife who died recently. Mister Linh doesn’t understand him but he listens, his little girl on his lap. They meet on the same bench in the park every day until one day everything changes...
Based on a novella by Philippe Claudel Het kleine meisje van meneer Linh is a moving story about a man who has to flee his country with the little he has left.
Koen de Sutter does the show as a monologue. Because De Sutter is alone on stage and performs all of the roles – the narrator, Mr Linh and Mr Bark – it gains a special flavour, atmosphere and significance. It becomes a show about the power of the imagination and of portrayal. De Sutter tells the story with all of the means available to him: dramatic action, words, images, music, sound, projections….
But at the same time it is also a show about loneliness, about the longing to communicate with others – and not in the last place, with the audience. Are we in the head of the narrator? Are Mr Linh and Mr Bark voices in his head? Is telling the story his way of coping with trauma?
Whereas the earlier Grensgeval (Borderline) presented the Westerner who cannot find a response to the new European, Het kleine meisje van meneer Linh speaks from the sensory experience of the refugee himself who is given all too few clues as to how to comprehend the new world.
"With just one actor and minimal visual means, Guy Cassiers has turned Philippe Claudel’s novel into masterful theatre. Actor Koen De Sutter finds the perfect tone and manner for telling this implacable story."
"The projections often have a poignant beauty because of their sparing use. Narration is the central focus in Meneer Linh, and the interventions made by Cassiers – who likes multimedia theatre – are remarkably subtle and rare for his way of doing things."
"Actor Koen De Sutter gives a wonderful performance with Toneelhuis’s Het kleine meisje van meneer Linh.(...) After seeing the production in the Bourla, Peter Adriaenssens made a plea for a more intuitive approach and the importance of both compassionate and active citizen’s initiatives in addition to government initiatives."
"Very beautiful production, because the essence of the story is about a search for contact that transcends inadequate communication through language. Cassiers works with a ‘moving typography’ to give the very poetic but also concise and purified text a kind of deeper emotion."
"Koen De Sutter evokes a gamut of emotions that beautifully express the fragility of poor Mr Linh."
"Koen De Sutter delivers a first-rate story with a sharp edge."
"What’s more, De Sutter succeeds in portraying the almost childishly naive figures of Linh and Bark with the requisite lightness and (bitter) humour. Which is also partly why the nasty little tail wagging at the end of Claudel’s story – the tragic entrustment by Linh of a life-saving illusion to Bark – comes like such a sledgehammer blow. In all of its beautiful simplicity, this show reflects the complexity and immensity of the human tragedy."
- Guy Cassiers
- Erwin Jans
- Philippe Claudel
- Koen De Sutter
- Klaas Verpoest
- Diederik De Cock
- Tim Van Steenbergen
with the support of
- Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius
- Tax Shelter maatregel v/d Belgische Federale Overheid