Life on the margins

not having a plan is the plan
slaloming over the map
taking each day as it comes
they can’t cope with that
can’t think like that
they think in destinations and goals and straight lines and from a to b
along the way filling your car with oil and diesel and your stomach with triangular sandwiches and soggy pizza at identical service stations
in and on as speedily as possible, quickly quickly on until you are where you stop
we never stop we pause for a day a week a year where they never expect it
even the people who own this house haven’t been here for an age
the tins in their cupboards are rusty and the mice have gnawed a hole in the sofa
it’s nice here

Excerpt from Wilderness (Wildernis) by Freek Mariën

A wild and restless father addicted to alcohol and adventure, who doesn’t care a rap about conformism. An eccentric, volatile and nervy mother who fosters vague artistic ambitions. And a couple of children, whose parents’ lifestyle has forced them to lead a nomadic and chaotic existence. These are the basic ingredients of Wilderness, a story about growing up in extreme poverty. Depressing? Not at all. They may be constantly on the move, the houses may have leaking roofs, hunger may gnaw and the cold congeal their blood, but the family is close-knit. And the children resilient.
A show about uncompromising parents who drag their children to the very brink of society, and about those children who, as young adults, look back on their childhood.

At the request of Laika, Freek Mariën wrote a lively script with a rhythmic flow. The cast includes the highly accomplished performers Frank Dierens (remember, for example, Rabbit with plums) and Ineke Nijssen, accompanied by young talent.

“This is theatre at its best: a beautiful, relevant and often witty text, honest and sincere acting, a perfect symbiosis between text, music, stage image, light, ...”
Erik Wouters, 08 March 2022
“This is theatre at its best: a beautiful, relevant and often witty text, honest and sincere acting, a perfect symbiosis...” read more
Erik Wouters, 08 March 2022
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SCRIPT Freek Mariën DIRECTED BY Jo Roets CAST Violet Braeckman, Frank Dierens, Ineke Nijssen and Flor Van Severen MUSIC Nine And 1/2 – David Bovée and Anton Van Haver SCENOGRAFIE AND LIGHTING Stef Stessel COSTUMES Louis Verlinde DRAMATURGY Mieke Versyp TECHNICAL REALISATION Tuur Decoene, Dag Jennes and Rik Van Gysegem PRODUCTION Robin Angst and Pieter Smet
Tour dates
Show past datesHide past dates
February 2022
De Studio
Grote Zaal 03 202 46 46
Fr11/0213:30, 20:00
Sa12/0220:00 Premiere
Tu15/0210:00, 13:30
Cultuurcentrum Nova
Theaterzaal 09 365 20 20
Cultuurcentrum Sint-Niklaas
Schouwburg 03 778 33 66
Cultuurcentrum Zwaneberg
Grote Zaal 015 25 07 70
Mo21/0213:30, 20:00
CC Maasmechelen
Schouwburg 089 76 97 97
Th24/0214:00, 20:00
"Rather than portray a bitter fight between parents and children, even in its most intense moments this play makes room for nuance, warmth and solidarity and invites us to think for ourselves. The script itself makes extraordinary reading; seeing and hearing the play, especially Laika’s version, only intensifies that experience."
"The mechanics behind the downfall of a family are revealed in a non-sentimental fashion. A family in which the children’s affection allowed this destructive situation to perpetuate itself for so long."