Dries Verhoeven, Thy Kingdom Come

Review in Issue 20-3 | Autumn 2008

Barefoot, I climb into the small white caravan in front of the theatre. The door gently closes behind me. Thus starts Dries Verhoeven’s Thy Kingdom Come. After my eyes adjust to the semi-darkness, I realise a man is watching me from behind a glass partition which divides the cabin in half. Before I get a chance to note more than a chair, a fan and a kettle on either side of the divide a gentle male voice addresses me through a speaker in the wall. ‘Hi. Are you as nervous as I am?’

As the tender audio script evolves, we mostly keep our gazes interlocked, but occasionally our eyes wander, taking in the space surrounding us. The words envelop me in scenarios of intimacy until we are flying high in a balloon over the perishing earth, granting the two of us just a few more minutes to share. The end. The door opens. In the stark light that enters, I missed seeing him leave. Outside, we meet and exchange shoes. It is a strangely exciting sensation to meet again.

Dries Verhoeven’s interest lies in exploring performative encounters without performers. Here, two people meet in ‘audience’, in a shared yet isolated space, unaware of the thoughts that have been laid in each other’s mouths and made audible for the counterpart. An automatic response is to try to match the aural and visual impressions to create cohesion, but realising the pointlessness, one soon surrenders to the intriguing journey through a fragile landscape of longing.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-3
p. 34