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Studio 100 pushes with ‘40-45’ the boundaries of musical

With a plea against extremism and unseen spectacle is the musical 40-45 a shot in the rose. With Jonas Van Geel and Jelle Cleymans as to team.

Peter Vantyghem

‘Even better, even more spectacular, even more successful’, so led Gert Verhulst the premiere of ‘40-45’ in. A manufacturer specifically for a musicalreeks a pop-uptheater …

‘Even better, even more spectacular, even more successful’, so led Gert Verhulst the premiere of ‘40-45’ in. A manufacturer specifically for a musicalreeks a pop-uptheater of 70 to 100 metre builds and are very risky innovates, may in superlatives speak.

‘40-45’ is the much stronger successor of ‘14-18’, a musical about the First world War that so impressed with eenspectaculair decor that it is the emotional involvement of the audience stood in the way. Screenwriter and director Frank Van Laecke has learned: this time we are often at the characters on the lap.

Jelle Cleymans and Jonas Van Geel are the koningskoppel, as two brothers who grow apart by the circumstances in which they live. So begins the story: in may 1940, Antwerp was a busy city. Staff falls for the rhetoric of the Reich, Louis comes in the resistance.

Rolling stands

In the previous musical tried Studio 100 massascènes and more intimate scenes by the publiekstribune 200 meters closer or further away to roll. That approach is now highly refined, with eight rolling stands and led displays by the whole hangar to be moved. The story is told in a moving setting, and you can experience the from a constantly moving point of view.

So you see the principals at work in massascènes, of which that on the end with a real train the most spectacular. But you also see them just before you go into discussion. Actually, it seems as if you from your seat in and zoom out, and as close-ups alternate with totaalopnames. It often appears on film, and it is a technical feat.

Just punishment is the music. Because the people in the stands constantly change position, is a fixed sound system is not an option. The solution is everyone has a headset, so the sound is excellent comes in at the volume that you want. Will Tura and Steve Willaert wrote bright, emotional songs to a quite classic musicalaanpak been translated. A tip: set during a massazang your headphones on to get the votes purely to hear. A pleasure.

Raw reality

‘40 – 45’ is launched in the run-up to the commemoration of 75 years of the Second world War. It was looking forward to the show of this musical. Studio 100 has a reputation of happy endings and feel good, but also raw reality. Some scenes, such as the breakup of arrested Jews and the questioning of a prisoner, are brutal. There is shot, there are lots of killing. The German occupying forces is one-dimensional as barbaric portrayed.

A story of us

Frank Van Laecke focuses fairly tightly on the Jewish question. That gives the musical unity and emotional tension. Suddenly the audience is part of a nazi rally, complete with flags and Hitlerportret, where the seething CNS’Staff Declercq are haatspeech opsmukt with a piece from the in Germany banned film Der Ewige Jude. It is on the brink.

Other facts, such as the bombing of Deurne and Mortsel playing along in the background, just like the most popular swing music. But the core of the story is the heartbreaking conflict within a family.

Gert Verhulst emphasized in his introduction that this is a story of ‘us’. He referred to his mother, who all her life wondering if the choices of her loved ones were made out of ignorance, opportunism or idealism. Jelle Cleymans referred the past few days also to Syriëstrijders, Shield & Friends, to the danger of extremism.

Studio 100 takes up position. Wrong choices walk dramatically. But we learn the ever? When father Emil in cinema Rex finally again a movie can run, he opts for The plainsman, in which the Us general Custer the indians uitmoordt. We can be the one abomination to forward to a different look?

Studio 100 sells intimacy on a large scale. This time is better than ever succeeded, and the message is, although not new, intriguing enough.

40-45. Seen in a Pop-up theatre in Puurs on 7/10. Still 24/3/2019.

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