Aalst

Drapene i Aalst (literally: The Murders in Aalst) by POS Theatre Company was based on the Belgian play Aalst.

The play Aalst is founded in the authentic event from the Belgian small town of Aalst, where a married couple was tried for having killed their two small children while staying in a hotel in town.

Information

(Objekt ID 10633)
Object type Production
Premiere September 4, 2009
Produced by
Based on Aalst by Pol Heyvaert, Dimitri Verhulst
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian
Expressions Theatre, Drama
Running period September 4, 2009  
Website POS Theatre Company, Hålogaland Teater

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes
More

The text material in Aalst was found in transcripts from part of the trial against the couple. After the Belgian staging of the text by the theatre company Victoria, Aalst has been performed in several European countries, including Norway. Belgian director Pol Heyvaert wrote the text for the production in collaboration with the playwright Dimitri Verhulst.

The Norwegian version was performed under the title Drapene i Aalst (The Murders in Aalst), directed by Per Olav Sørensen and with Ane Dahl Torp and Aksel Hennie in the roles of the young parents Kathy and Kurt.

On the webpage of POS Theatre Company the following, among other things, is written about the production Aalst:

"Ten years ago the world was shaken by a young couple of parents in the town of Aalst in Belgium who killed their two small children before trying to commit suicide. The case was a media sensation and the couple was presented as monsters. The play is based on the interrogations of and the trial against the parents.

We live in a time when the media carpet bombs us with sensational murder stories, one more terrible than the other. "Orderud", "Josef Fritzl", "Columbine", "the triple killing in Tromsø", "the knife murder at the 17 tram" - we needn't say more. The murders are part of our communal consciousness.

Aalst is definitely part of the newer history of Belgium. Few murder cases in the French and Flemish speaking part of Europa have gotten more attention. But why create a play out of such a savage crime as murdering one's own children? Isn't the theatre then a part of the entertainment culture superficially surfing on murders?

The reason why POS Theatre Company wants to do this play is two-part. We will attempt to get behind the sensational headlines and the sensational entertainment. The play is far harder to relate to. In addition the media presents the culprits of such cases as monsters. They are not. They are persons with another mindset and perceptions of reality than the normal. Gaining insight into this kind of mindset to see and avoid such cruelties before it is too late."

Sources:

Review Dagbladet, Lillian Bikset, "Rystende realisme" (literally: "Shaking realism"), 05.09.09, http://lillianbikset.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-2009-drapene-i-aalst.html

POS Theatre Company, postheatrecompany.com, 08.02.2012, http://postheatrecompany.com/

Wikipedia, wikipedia.org, 30.12.2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aalst_(play)

Contributors (10)
Name Role
Pol Heyvaert – Playwright
Dimitri Verhulst – Playwright
Leif Helgeland – Adapted by
Per-Olav Sørensen – Adapted by
Leif Helgeland – Translation
Per-Olav Sørensen – Translation
Per-Olav Sørensen – Direction
Aksel Hennie – Actor (Kurt)
Dennis Storhøi – Actor (Stemmen)
Ane Dahl Torp – Actor (Kathy)
Festivals (1)
NonStopFestivalen September 18, 2009
Press coverage

Review Dagbladet, Lillian Bikset, Rystende realisme" (literally: "Shaking realism"), 05.09.09, http://lillianbikset.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-2009-drapene-i-aalst.html:

"Aalst is important theatre for showing us a reality we did wish did not exist (...) That damaged people damage other people, is not a mystery. That the damaged person becomes destructive has often been proved. Aalst springs out from this fact and through the performance it is confirmed anew. Kurt and Kathy aren’t monsters. They aren’t stupid. They are destroyed, and with their own destroyed logic they make the choice they think they have to make. The kids must not be taken away from them. Ergo, the kids must die. The actors are tuned together in their acting. They use the same toned-down tone of voice, the same numbness revealing emotions too great to be talked about. Sørensen deserves praise for managing to keep Aalst so unadorned. The performance is without effects, and that makes it effectual. Here is not a word or a movement too many. We have to fill the holes in the story by ourselves. What makes Aalst so tragically, shockingly realistic is that this is not at all difficult. That tragedy gives birth to tragedy we already know."