Hotel Modern


Shrimp Tales
14, 15 May at 9.30pm

Makers and performers: Pauline Kalker, Arlène Hoornweg and Herman Helle Sound concept and live performance: Arthur Sauer Set assistant, production and live set dresser: Ineke Kruizinga Technicians: André Goos and Jorg Schellekens Assistants: Heleen Wiemer, Stefan Gross, Jozef van Rossem, Sanne Vaghi, Jan-Geert Munneke and Annette Scheer Photographs: Pauline Kalker e Leo Van Velzen Acknowledgements: Els Nieveen van Dijkum, Wilco Kwerreveld and Amnesty International Technique: Mista For audiences over: M/12 Time: 65 min. Language: English

In Shrimp Tales, Hotel Modern attempts to portray the fascinating plague that calls itself Humanity. We observe people as if they belonged to an exotic species with unique characteristics. They do sports, practice science, strive, live, make love and lose their mind. Shrimp Tales is a kaleidoscopic portrait packed with significant and insignificant moments: life, death and the frantic scrabbling around in between. In Shrimp Tales, the roles of humans are played by shrimps.

Hotel Modern theatre company was founded in 1997. Its members are Arlène Hoornweg and Pauline Kalker, who both graduated from Arnhem Theatre School, and visual artist, model maker and performer, Herman Helle. The group works together with (sound) artists for their performances, including Arthur Sauer (The Great War, Rococo, Shrimp Tales) and Ruud van der Pluijm (KAMP). They blend visual art, object theatre, drama, music, film, modelling and performance in their evocative productions. Scale models play an important role in their performances; these are used to, literally, view the world from a macro perspective. Hotel Modern’s approach is unique in the theatre landscape, and it enables them to focus on subjects in entirely new ways.

Hotel Modern are idealistic in the sense that they believe that watching and experiencing theatre can encourage reconciliation. They try to offer solace to a society and a world in which people sometimes seem fearful of one another. This consolation is not achieved by presenting an overly comforting vision, but by re-presenting harsh reality in a subtle and poetic way.

And so one could watch for hours as shrimps do things one would generally think were reserved for humans. One can laugh, one can be moved and at the same time one can be astonished by the exquisite way in which it is made. On tiny table stages, the three deviser-actors draw together an incredible variety of objects and manipulate them to create a scene – sometimes using a video camera, sometimes not. These are transformed into films projected onto a screen at the rear of the stage… Shrimp Tales is, then, a mosaic performance with shrimp characters that meet each other and lose touch; sad, strange and beautiful stories of trembling pink bodies and melancholy beady eyes, whom we recognize and become attached to – and for whom we can mourn at a funeral
Karin Veraart, Volkskrant, 11-02-2009

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