Gijs Scholten van Aschat in directorial debut of Maria Kraakman
In April 2021, Maria Kraakman will make her debut as director with Cliënt E. Busken, a monologue played by Gijs Scholten van Aschat. The text is based on the latest novel by Jeroen Brouwers. Against his will, E. Busken resides in the closed ward of an elderly care facility. He feels he is treated like a toddler and refuses to speak. He surrenders to a stream of memories and observations of his fellow residents and the care staff. Is he rambling, or is he – as he claims – still of sound mind? Is he remembering real memories, or is he imagining this richly filled life?
Ivo van Hove: 'Sometimes projects are too good to put on the back burner. When Gijs showed me this very personal story of one of the grandest contemporary novelists, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I told him: “This is something we have to do, and as soon as possible at that. We are given glimpse of what it is like to be old in this day and age”. Gijs then adapted the novel for the stage. And things got even better when we learned that Maria was prepared to make her debut as a director with this play'.
Maria Kraakman: 'It is a fate that awaits most of us: we get old, our bodies deteriorate, we slowly become isolated and have to rely on strangers for care, waiting for the inevitable end… Thank goodness we have Jeroen Brouwers! He has created a festive and razor-sharp monument of language, that manages to keep even death at bay, comforts us and makes us laugh, and shows us that, in the realm of our thoughts, we are truly free. I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to give shape to this universe of the mind that is Cliënt E. Busken.'
direction Maria Kraakman
adaptation Gijs Scholten van Aschat
scenography and light Bart Van Merode
costume design Rebekka Wörmann
music Jip van den Dool
assistant director Maria Luttikhuis
based on the book by Jeroen Brouwers