Small Town Boy – a reference to Bronski Beat’s most famous hit, from 1984 – tells the story of a boy from the country who cannot identify with the world imposed upon him as he grows up. Fleeing repression and lack of recognition, he moves to the big city. To Berlin, London, Amsterdam; free-thinking European metropolises where people can rediscover themselves, find space to experiment and where identity can be defined through resistance. There is much to enjoy in this big, new world: but a life full of personal, political and sexual freedom brings its own complexities. Is it possible to become a different person?
First ever show in the Netherlands during Amsterdam Pride
Renowned German writer and director Falk Richter talked to young people who have left behind their narrow-minded hometowns to explore themselves and their sexuality in the big city. His production Small Town Boy premièred in Berlin in 2014. This summer, director Marcus Azzini brings Small Town Boy to the Netherlands as part of Pride Amsterdam.
Activism in the form of an embrace
For Marcus Azzini, standing on the barricades means making theatre. He chooses activism in the form of an embrace, by telling personal stories that lead to new insights and perspectives. For his production Allemaal Mensen (All Humans), he asked 14 young stage artists to tell their personal stories in an attempt to come into contact and get to know and understand one another better. With Small Town Boy, Azzini continues his attempt to build acceptance of diversity, this time on the basis of a written text. Set in a European city where migration brings both opportunities and confrontation, in this production he focuses on the emancipation of the LHBTI community.
“At the very point when we think we know the stories of others, we have to continue to tell these stories. We have to keep setting examples and being examples.” | Marcus Azzini
text | Falk Richter translation | Ludwig Bindervoet direction | Marcus Azzini performance | Soumaya Ahouaoui, Ozan Aydogan, Leandro Ceder, Rick Paul van Mulligen, Florian Myjer | dramaturgy | Tjeerd Posthuma scenography | Studio Dennis Vanderbroeck | visuals Henri Verhoef