Lam Gods is inspired by the famous altarpiece, The Adoration of the Lamb of God, by the Van Eyck Brothers (1432), which hangs in Ghent's St. Bavo's Cathedral. In his theatrical version, Rau translates the Biblical characters into modern people. They tell their stories on stage.
duration: 120 minutes, no intermission
language: Dutch spoken, English surtitles
What are the Biblical figures in today's world?
Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, martyrs and angels: the motives are Christian and spiritual. But the faces of the figures are realistic, they reflect faces from Ghent today. The Van Eyck brothers immortalised their patrons and clients, but also their neighbours and colleagues. So one of the first works of modern realistic art was both documentary and mythical, ordinary and universal.
Milo Rau has been working on the 'theatre of the real' for a decade. He connects the everyday with the spiritual in Lam Gods, just as the Van Eyck brothers did back then. Just as the altarpiece consists of different layers that overlap each other, just as the real mixes with the symbolic, so too will people from Ghent tell about their lives on stage.
With a casting process that took months, this project plunges into the here and now of a city's community: who is the Cain of Ghent, who is the Abel? Who plays Adam and who plays Eve? Who are the martyrs of the 21st century? The crusaders and the just judges? The patrons? What do they say about the themes of this painting, about original sin and human suffering, about faith and tragedy, death and salvation?
In the reconstruction of The Lamb of God on stage, a panorama of our present world between tradition and an uncertain future emerges - and at the same time it's a manifesto for the meaning of art and spirituality in a human life.
Click to read the program book of NTGent.
"15th century polyptych magically brought to life" and "Highly Recommended". - Theaterkrant
"An instant classic" and "A true piece of art with live players and music and video walls" - De Standaard
"You have to admire the extraordinary testimonies that the performers share with you." - Etcetera
"A serene and clever performance." - De Standaard
"The miniatures are alternately endearing, chilling, melancholic." - Cutting Edge
"Rau writes history with this piece. This is city theatre as city theatre should be. With twelve living panels, which have so much emotional and artistic value they'd be worth stealing.". - Het Nieuwsblad
"He has turned theatre into action." – De Morgen
Milo Rau (1977) is not only a theatre maker, but also a filmmaker, sociologist, writer and journalist. Before he made his entrée into theatre, he spent years reporting from conflict areas such as Northern Iraq and Syria. In 2007, he founded the International Institute of Political Murder, which, in addition to theatrical productions, films, videos and performances, also publishes books and organises debates on social and political themes. In September 2018, Rau succeeded Johan Simons as the new director of NTGent.
"It's not just about representing the world anymore, it's about changing it." - Milo Rau