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Vergeef ons

Guy Cassiers, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Toneelhuis

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The family is dead! Long live the family!

‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ This is the famous sentence with which Tolstoy opens his novel, Anna Karenina.

The unhappiness of the Silver family begins on Thanksgiving when Harold Silver, a middle-aged historian, flirts with his brother’s wife, Jane. It’s the start of a long, often absurd, funny and sad succession of catastrophes that drives the entire family apart. Yet the following Thanksgiving he succeeds in creating, almost despite himself, a newly assembled family.

Vergeef ons (May we be forgiven) is an on-stage soap about an ‘ordinary’ family. In a grotesque atmosphere, all the characters’ failings come to light in startlingly quick succession. At the same time, Vergeef ons is a ridiculously absurd saga and a harrowing sketch of a society that challenges its ethical values: pressure is brought to bear on all its cornerstones – family, friendship, etc. -, which need to be redefined.

With the help of an outstanding cast – including four actors from the co-producing Toneelgroep Amsterdam –,Guy Cassiers paints a humorous picture of the estranged relationships and emotional confusion of the times we live in. With numerous visual references to the public sphere of American society – the sports competitions, the information overkill, the advertising – his staging balances between an intimate family story and a media-dominated environment. Images and words are disconnected, resulting in a high dose of absurdity.

“There’s a world out there, so new, so random and disassociated that it puts us all in danger. We talk online, we ‘friend’ each other when we don’t know who we’re really talking to – we fuck strangers. We mistake almost anything for a relationship, a community of sorts and yet, when we are with our families, in our communities, we are clueless, we short-circuit and immediately pe back into the digitized version – it is easier, because we can both be our truer selves and our fantasy selves all at once, with each carrying equal weight.”

– May we be forgiven, A.M. Homes

Aftertalk: Saturday 24 February 2018 Toneelhuis dramaturge Erwin Jans talks to A.M. Homes after the show (English spoken).

"Rapid-fire scenes, a top cast and a story about resilience in times of adversity: director Guy Cassiers turns Vergeef ons into a sparkling, maniacal family soap opera."

"Very funny, intensely melancholic comedy of manners (...) Radio play meets pop concert. And it clicks. (...) The surprising flirtation between narration, performance and live soundtrack turns into an unadulterated, exciting and passionate evening of theatre."

"Steven van Watermeulen, Chris Nietvelt and Katelijne Damen let their hair down in performances that are both sensitive and sharp, while Eelco Smits once again reveals his unbridled talent. He guides Harry’s character through the most varied of registers with an ingenuity that is disarming and a pleasure that is irrepressible. (...) Critical, funny, vulnerable… What is there to actually forgive?"

Jan-Jakob Delanoye in Cutting Edge **** , 26 February 2018




  • Guy Cassiers

based on the similarly-named book by

  • A.M. Homes


  • Guy Cassiers
  • Marc Didden
  • Erwin Jans


  • Erwin Jans


  • Ariane van Vliet
  • Chris Nietvelt
  • Eelco Smits
  • Evelien Bosmans
  • Jip van den Dool
  • Katelijne Damen
  • Lucas Vandervost
  • Steven Van Watermeulen


  • Jasper Rigole

light design

  • Fabiana Piccioli

sound design

  • Diederik De Cock

costume advice

  • Tim Van Steenbergen


  • Toneelhuis


  • Toneelgroep Amsterdam

with the support of

  • Casa Kafka Pictures - Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius
  • Tax Shelter maatregel v/d Belgische Federale Overheid

All data

Er zijn geen aankomende activiteiten voor dit event.

  1. Thursday 22 February 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  2. Saturday 24 February 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  3. Sunday 25 February 2018 — 15U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  4. Wednesday 28 February 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  5. Thursday 1 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  6. Friday 2 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  7. Saturday 3 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  8. Tuesday 20 March 2018 — Cultuurcentrum Brugge, Brugge
  9. Friday 23 March 2018 — cultuurcentrum Hasselt, Hasselt
  10. Wednesday 28 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  11. Thursday 29 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  12. Friday 30 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  13. Saturday 31 March 2018 — 20U00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerp
  14. Wednesday 4 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  15. Thursday 5 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  16. Friday 6 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  17. Saturday 7 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  18. Tuesday 10 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  19. Wednesday 11 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  20. Thursday 12 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  21. Wednesday 18 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  22. Thursday 19 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  23. Friday 20 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  24. Saturday 21 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  25. Sunday 22 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam
  26. Wednesday 25 April 2018 — Chassé Theater,, Breda
  27. Saturday 28 April 2018 — Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht
  28. Thursday 3 May 2018 — KVS - BOL, Brussels
  29. Friday 4 May 2018 — KVS - BOL, Brussels
  30. Saturday 5 May 2018 — KVS - BOL, Brussels
  31. Wednesday 9 May 2018 — Stadsschouwburg Groningen, Groningen
  32. Saturday 12 May 2018 — Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam
  33. Friday 18 May 2018 — Parktheater, Eindhoven
  34. Wednesday 6 June 2018 — CC Kortrijk, Kortrijk
  35. Saturday 9 June 2018 — Koninklijke Schouwburg Den Haag, Den Haag

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