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Julius Caesar dies while you order a drink at the bar

Written by Maud Brouwers  -  leestijd 2 minuten

A few weeks ago Lotte attended the play Roman Tragedies from Toneelgroep Amsterdam. The six hour (!!!) play consists of three classics by Shakespeare: Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antonius and Cleopatra. Roman Tragedies is about politics and everything that comes with it: ideals, conspiracies, enemies, emotions and power. (If you want to know more about the content of these tragedies, I have to disappoint you because that is not what I am going to talk about). As a visitor you can choose a seat in the theatre or on the balcony or... just on the stage. Yes, really! During the show you can also change places if you want, no problem!

A multifunctional decor

The six hour play has only one decor. Minimal changes occur during the conversion. The stage is a modern political arena. There are grey chairs, grey benches and screens so that wherever you sit as a visitor, you can continue to follow and especially feel the performance. No place in the theatre remains hidden, no tears stay a secret. You can feel, see and hear everything.

The decor is multifunctional because the basic elements have multiple functions. For example, a couch is a seat for the visitors, the deathbed of one actor or a desk from another. Sometime it seems like the audience also plays a role because of to the interactive decor. The visitors on the couches are audience to a speech or the people at the bar could be a group of journalists. And while Julius Caesar dies, you order a drink at the bar and Cleopatra prepares her story in the make-up area.

The power of the performance

All actors are tightly wrapped in a suit and look alike. Together with the decor it makes everything rather grizzled and grey. Due to the power of the performance and the minimal accessories you can still see differences between the different locations. With the strong performance all emotions are covered: love, jealousy, hatred, betraial, tormens, sadness, conviction, enthusiastic, mourning and passion.

Because of the decor and the power of the performance, Roman Tragedies is a total experience where all your senses are stimulated. Where you actually should have an extra pair of eyes and ears. 

Getting inspirational

Of course STUDIO &lotte also likes to design for the five senses. In the design for the exhibition ‘In Their Footsteps’ for the VVAO I also tried to stimulate senses of the visitors. The exhibition was presented at Museum Slager in ‘s Hertogenbosch. By consistently using the colour blue, a distinction was made between ‘In Their Footsteps’ and the existing works of Museum Slager. Repetition of design provided recognition and made everything one. 

The basic principle of building from the floor gave us a hold, a starting point to shape the design. Finally, the blue footsteps on the floor led to direction, so that the visitor wasn’t missing any of the exhibition or content.

Now you see that as well for Roman Tragedies, as for the exhibition ‘In Their Footsteps’ applies:

1 + 1 = 3.

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