In the first scene of brood of the duo Grof Geschud (Lander Severins and Myrthe van Velden) she climbs into a pile nest to hatch an egg. But when she asks her partner to take over for a while, he replies that breeding is a woman’s job. He turns out not to be such a progressive bird as she thought.
Their conflict, built up with witty bird puns, is, they say afterwards, the only part of the performance that has a relationship with the title. Obviously not true, because the conflict is also a prelude. The two used to be a couple, but aren’t anymore and in brood they tell about their on-again, off-again relationship over the past few years. Just like in their debut nominated for the Neerlands Hoop Glue goes brood about love.
All those times it went on and off is brought back on the scene. In their game, Van Velden and Severins show that they master the craft. And they show off in the interfering, interrupting, finishing sentences and again seducing how well they are attuned to each other.
But what they forget is to make the conflict interesting in terms of content. The why of their love and wanting to divorce is not analyzed. There are only synonyms of the same, unexplained discomfort: distress, needing time for yourself, etc. Their gentle clashes are hardly humorous or exciting and it doesn’t help that the cliché of nosy parents has a strong role in the performance. The jokes are in short asides, accurately placed, carefully directed by Minou Bosua and Janne Desmet.
The two are strongest in their songs, especially when her hard Dutch and his soft Flemish don’t try to merge. Van Velden sings beautifully and poignantly in a dramatic tone about her confusion: “I can’t, I don’t want to, I’m not going”. And Severins beautifully derails a witty song about Van Velden’s new friend into a savage and wild delirium of envy.
Pushing the scene to the point in an absurd way also produces a memorable moment during the telephone conversations with parents. There they show daring, as they also show in the strong final scene, and then their talent comes into its own.
#Gentle #Conflicts #Brooden #Rough #Geschud