Language functions as a thread in Ten Oorlog as it conveys the saga of Ten Oorlog once in a soft manner then in a harsh way. It consists of a mix of renaissance poetry, pop music and street jargon, everything pressed together in a declamation of iambic pentameters.
The saga is a conglomeration of different stories and themes showing what our society looks like, how it has become this kind of society and what will become of it. At the same time the saga became also a parable ex negativo of MAN, generation and gender conflicts… and the existence of evil. The best place to tell such a saga is the theatre, a place where ‘the ‘Word can become flesh’. A theatrical marathon engendered by the force of language, the variation of acting styles, the mixing of classicist and trivial elements, the alternation of tragedy and hilarity, the central place of and for the actor with proper marvellous roles, a breathtaking scenography, beauty and dumbfoundedness…
Luk Perceval and writer/poet/performer Tom Lanoye made with Ten Oorlog a very contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays. The eight parts, Richard II, Henry IV part I, Henry IV part II, Henry V, Henry VI part I, Henry VI part II, Henry VI part III and Richard III were thoroughly rewritten as a ten hour long spectacle in three parts: In the Name of the Father and the Son (with the three parts Richaar Deuzième, Hendrik 4 en Hendrik de Vijfden), See the Handmaiden of the Lord (a.k.a. Margaretha di Napoli) Margaretha di Napoli) and Deliver us from Evil (with Edwaar the King and Risjaar Modderfokker den Derde).
The staging of all history dramas as one series is a unique happening in the Dutch-speaking regions. Furthermore this staging of the history dramas-cycle asked for another way of looking at the usual pattern of rehearsals. BMCie planned eight months of rehearsals for what eventually became a very much alive, sometimes carnavalesque climax of the Flemish theatrical history. After Ten Oorlog’s big success in Flanders and the Netherlands Perceval starts the German-speaking version, Schlachten!, in collaboration with the Schauspielhaus Hamburg and with the Salzburger Festspiele and playwrighters Klaus Reichert and Rainer Kersten.
Wim Opbrouck and Jan Decleir were both nominated in the category of best leading actor for the Louis d’Or and Lucas Van den Eynde and Vic De Wachter were nominated in the category of best supporting male part for the Arlequino award.
Luk Perceval and Tom Lanoye received the three-yearly Flemish Culture-prize for Playwrighting of ‘Ten Oorlog’. ‘Ten Oorlog’ also gets the Océ-prize and the Thalia-prize. On top Luk Perceval is rewarded by the Dutch theatre critics with the prize of Dutch theatrecriticism and he receives the Proscenium-prize.
Blauwe Maandag Cie
Vic De Wachter
Els Ingeborg Smits
Lucas Van den Eynde
Michiel Van der Sande
Koen van Kaam
Ariane van Vliet
Text Tom Lanoye & Luk Perceval
Direction Luk Perceval
Dramaturgy Hans Van Dam, Luc Joosten, Wilfried Schulz
Scenography Katrin Brack
Costumes Ilse Vandenbussche
Light Design Enrico Bagnoli
Music Fred Van Hove
A thorough analysis of this play can be found in:
Houtman, J.: ALLEN TREFT EENZELFDE LOT. Ten Oorlog: een verhaal over Macht en Mens. Leuven: 1999 Uitgeverij Van Halewyck. 193p.
For Luk Perceval’s comments on these theatrical marathons read more in
Houtman, J.: WIE SLAAPT VANGT GEEN VIS. Luk Perceval over theatre en leven. Leuven: 2001 Uitgeverij Van Halewyck. 196p.