A repertory play could not be more topical: the environmental scandals close to home, the manipulative mechanisms of political decision-making, the struggles of whistle-blowers... Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People analyses it all. But his wry comedy also shows the personal consequences of fighting for one's ideals
Doctor Thomas Stockman discovers that the water at the spa in his town is extremely polluted and is causing the visitors to become deathly ill. In the interest of public health, he wants to publicize his findings. He asks the local authorities to intervene. His brother, Peter Stockman, is the mayor of the town. He has his reservations. Publicizing the news will have incalculable economic consequences for the town. What’s more, the townspeople will be left footing the bill.
The clash between a fiery idealist and a pragmatic politician turns into a municipal war between the rightness of one person and the ‘common sense’ of the masses. Science versus politics. What is the value of truth? And how far do you go in support of your convictions? Simmering beneath this conflict over the common good is the competition and personal strife between two brothers.
Vijand van het volk (An Enemy of the People, Henrik Ibsen, 1882) describes both a social crisis and a family crisis. This timeless, wry comedy evokes burningly topical echoes of recent environmental scandals close to home and whistle-blower affairs. It mercilessly shows the manipulative mechanisms of behind-the-scenes decision-making, and the scheming in the corridors.
For this classic, Olympique Dramatique works with a cast that spans three generations.
With seventeen years under their belts and at least five more years lying ahead, the two Olympique Dramatique stalwarts undeniably are established names within Toneelhuis. Although Stijn Van Opstal’s beard is considerably greyer than in 2006, Van Opstal and his comrade Tom Dewispelaere are still what they have always been: actors through and through.