The real hero of this scene isn’t on the stage at all (2014)


A van arrives at Frans Bekkerstraat and stops near to the waiting audience. The stage manager descends with a light, folding chair which s/he places on the ground after s/he walks to take a place in the middle of the rectangle delineated by the castle’s foundations. On the back of the chair is taped a piece of paper with the words “The Grave” Written on it.  For a moment s/he pauses, surveys the audience and then looks around and up, as if regarding the interior walls of the invisible castle...


A performance made for Het Mooiste, a project curated by Anna Łuczak and Eloise Sweetman, alongside works by Jason Hendrik Hansma, and Bernd Krauß. Three walking tours through Rotterdam, taking in the locations of the Maastunnel, Katendrecht Castle Foundations, and Stichting Historisch Charlois Museum, presented a series of al fresco performances accompanied by a community newspaper. 

The real hero of this scene isn’t on the stage at all responds to the curious Katendrecht Castle Foundations, memorialised as a rectangle paved into a quiet street in the neighbourhood of Charlois in South Rotterdam. The performance takes place on the empty stage proposed by this rectangle and relates it with the analogue of the empty stage in Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play Our Town. Wilder’s Stage Manager narrator is reprised over three days by different, invited performers who tell the story of a prescient primitive animal who has just emerged from the ocean to envisage the medieval castle in a distant future.


Performance transcript (PDF)