Ontroerend Goed, The Smile Off Your Face

Review in Issue 19-4 | Winter 2007

The Smile Off Your Face is a theatrical and multi-sensory exploration of intimacy. Combining original staging with audacious performance techniques, the production questions the very art of theatre and forces its audience to question not only their own happiness but also who has the right to challenge it. Audience members experience the production individually, blindfolded and bound by the wrists in a dungeon-type setting and wheeled round the set through a series of sensual vignettes. The play exploits audiences’ vulnerability, giving them little option but to face up to their own existential realities and re-examine the meaning of their relationships with others. The 20-minute journey builds up to a clever reveal, where the blindfold is removed… but to say more would give the game away, and as the show will be returning to the UK soon, no more will be said.

When I saw this production in the first week, the company was struggling admirably with the inadequacy of a half-built venue in a show that captured perfectly the spirit and ambitions of the Edinburgh Fringe. (Editor’s note: a situation that improved as the Fringe progressed, with the show ultimately becoming one of the hottest tickets for the festival.)

It is to be hoped that this talented, experimental performance group from Belgium continue to push the boundaries of theatre and cross the Channel more often.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-4
p. 29