Client E. Busken


Client E. Busken

ITA Ensemble / Maria Kraakman


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Client E. Busken
ITA Ensemble / Maria Kraakman

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?

Location On tour in the Netherlands and Belgium
Run time 90 minutes
Genre theatre
Language Dutch

Client E. Busken

"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." - Ivo van Hove

"When I was reading this book, I immediately saw the potential for making this into a play. The main character, E. Busken, is no longer able to do anything. Everything has been taken from him, all he has left are his thoughts, which he shares with us. He is in the final stage of his life, in which reality, dreams, and memories become indistinguishable from one another. This edifice of language is what we get mixed up in. Jeroen Brouwers has, to quote E. Busken, “an almost religious sense of language, with a variety of words akin to a flower garden". When I was adapting the book, this made me crave the addition of music. To escape the language for a bit. But also to get closer to the main character, through the music of his youth. In this play, I hope to combine my two great loves in my profession. Language and Music. For the mind and the heart." - Gijs Scholten van Aschat

Maria Kraakman photographed by Dim Balsem

Maria Kraakman on Client E. Busken

"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 Client E. Busken."


Language NP Language no problem Gijs Scholten van Aschat Gijs Scholten van Aschat
Language NP Language no problem Jip Sebastiaan van den Dool Jip Sebastiaan van den Dool


De Standaard

"Gijs Scholten van Aschat is a wonderful storyteller."


"Text, music and acting get all the attention. The result is wonderful."


"Gijs Scholten van Aschat is the ideal interpreter. With astonishing ease he brings to life the angry, witty, sometimes slightly derailed language, and with it the tragic figure Busken, who continues to fight against his fate until just before the end."

Gijs Scholten van Aschat and Jip van den Dool of the ITA-ensemble play in Client E. Busken in Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA).


Read more about the production's direction, author, scenography and music in our digital brochure.



Gijs Scholten van Aschat of the ITA-ensemble plays in Client E. Busken in Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA).
Maria Kraakman
Maria Kraakman

Maria Kraakman (1975) joined the ITA-ensemble in 2015.

In season 23|24 she will perform in the premiere of Prima Facie (director Eline Arbo) and the revivals of Penthesilea (director Eline Arbo), Lehman Trilogy (director Guy Cassiers), Judas (director Robert Icke) and The Doctor (director Robert Icke).

There will also be a revival of Cliënt E. Busken, which Kraakman directed, in season 23|24.

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direction Maria Kraakman
adaptation Gijs Scholten van Aschat
based on the novel by Jeroen Brouwers
scenography and light Bart van Merode
costume design Rebekka Wörmann
music Jip Sebastiaan van den Dool

private producers Joost en Marcelle Kuiper, Paula en Willem van der Schoot


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