Beneden de rivieren
When it first premiered in 2002 at Het Toneel Speelt, Beneden de Rivieren met with a great deal of success. At the time, Hans Croiset played the father and Ger Thijs was cast as the son. Hans Croiset is now playing the father once again, but this time around, he shares the stage with his own son: Julien Croiset.
This autumn, Hans Croiset, Julien Croiset and Agaath Witteman will tour Dutch theatres without receiving any financial reimbursement; The family is donating all proceeds from ticket sales to their host theatres, giving them a helping hand in these difficult times.
This performance is in Dutch.
About Beneden de rivieren
The play is set in the father's garden in the South of Limburg. A month earlier, he passed away unexpectedly. Son Paulie has come down from the North of the country, across the great rivers, to scatter his father's ashes in his garden. He is about to scatter them, when his father suddenly enters the garden. It has to be a ghost! “What are you doing here?” he asks. “I'm scattering your ashes.” “So am I dead, then?” asks the father, somewhat alarmed. The conversation that ensues is a ruthless final confrontation – Or, perhaps, an attempt at reconciliation?
In Beneden de Rivieren, Ger Thijs addresses a subject matter as old as the world itself: the (often) fraught relationship between father and son. Where are the women in this story? Sister Marlies and the mother do not appear in the play, but it is clear they are uppermost in the men’s minds.
Beneden de Rivieren is a rich literary piece with gentle references to the ghost of Hamlet's father and Chekov's abandoned Cherry Orchard. It is also a poetic play with a great deal of tragedy – Albeit presented in a light-hearted and humorously level-headed manner. One would not expect to burst into laughter while confronting the unnerving transition from life to death. Terrifying yet magical!
Ger Thijs: “Family strife lies at the heart of all drama. Just look at Strindberg or O'Neill. Father, mother, children: these are fundamental relationships. I love that. Simple yet pure, and close to your own self. Two men and an urn, actors and some stuff, that's what the play is all about.”