Brown Sugar Baby

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Brown Sugar Baby

Het Nationale Theater / Eric de Vroedt

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Brown Sugar Baby
Het Nationale Theater / Eric de Vroedt

Brown Sugar Baby is an energizing and nerve-wracking performance about an Indian jazz band in the turbulent final days of the Dutch colony. This new show by Eric de Vroedt (De eeuw van mijn moeder) is performed by 11 musicians and actors, including Hein van der Heijden, Esther Scheldwacht, and Mariana Aparicio.

Run time 130 minutes
Genre Theatre
Language Dutch

In Gesprek Tue 7 & Wed 8 May

Trigger warning: this performance contains a storyline about sexual abuse.

The performance uses stroboscopic effects.

Brown Sugar Baby


1935, Hotel der Nederlanden in Batavia, Dutch East Indies. The Indonesian family band Brown's Sugar Babies is getting ready for the grand finale of the jazz competition. The ballroom is filling up, but backstage, things are going wrong. One of the singers has lost her voice. The drummer has to be replaced last minute. And the youngest sister of the family has been missing for days. Meanwhile, the hotel is teeming with the most shadowy characters. As the problems pile up at lightning speed, band leader Kurt pulls out all the stops to save his show.
-|-
Brown Sugar Baby is a new play by Eric de Vroedt inspired by his grandfather's various jazz bands and a hidden family history. Eleven actors and musicians perform this swinging and nerve-wracking show about an Indonesian jazz band. The story is set in the turbulent final days of the Dutch colony, a time when Indonesian nationalism was increasingly harshly suppressed by the Dutch but could hardly be ignored.

Eric de Vroedt on Brown Sugar Baby

"All the debates now raging fiercely in the Netherlands were already fully alive in colonial times. The gap between rich and poor, the fear of a tsunami of 'natives', conspiracy theories, polarisation, war and terror. In the 1930s, the Dutch East Indies was a society adrift: in some places as jazzy and sexy as Berlin, in others a ruthless police state. The colony was much more exciting as well as oppressive than we tend to think."

Credits


text and direction Eric de Vroedt
cast Mariana Aparicio, Emma Buysse, Hein van der Heijden, Fjodor Jozefzoon, Roben Mitchell, Esther Scheldwacht, Kurt Schwab, Betty Schuurman, Kim Soepnel, Eddie B. Wahr, June Yanez
Composition & music Florentijn Boddendijk, Remco de Jong
Scenography Maze de Boer
Costumes Lotte Goos


-|-Light Bernie van Velzen
Dramaturgy Willemijn Barelds, Nona Wallerbosch (stage)
Directing assistance Chyramain van Kempen, Céline Amadi (stage)

Context programme Dimphna van Kempen, Martha Villada Márquez, Dyonne van Haastert, Erna van den Berg
Podcast Laura van Zuijlen

scènefoto's Bart Grietens

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