Saturday, 28 July 2018

European Citizen Dramaturgy: Marieke Dermul @ Edfringe 2018

European Citizen Pop Song
4 - 26 August, (previews 1 & 3 August)

18:00 – 19:00 Red Lecture (not 2, 6, 13, 20 August)

Ticket prices - £10 (£8 concessions)
Marieke Dermul, DeBrakkeGrond, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with Summerhall present


In European Citizen Popsong, the audience takes a musical trip through Europe. Last year, theatre maker Marieke Dermul researched if such a thing as a European identity or a common European sense exists. The power of music has erased boundaries before, but can it make us feel connected as citizens, even after the Brexit? With this question in
mind, she started a journey through Europe. 

By collecting opinions and musical input by citizens from all over Europe, the pop song for unity arose. With lyrics as a collection of fears and doubts. With music as a symbol of hope.

Marieke Dermul studied at the Amsterdam University of the Arts, where she developed herself as a theatre maker and a multidisciplinary performer. She has worked in various theatre houses in Belgium and Holland (MAAS Theater and Dance, the Noord Nederlands Toneel theatre company, fABULEUS, HetPaleis). In Rite of Spring, she was internationally seen at the Assitej Festival in Cape Town, Schöne Aussicht in Stuttgart, Blickfelder festival in Zürich, and Schäxpir Theatre Festival in Linz.

Her theatre work is about ‘the politics of the personal’ - whether big political themes can be made personal in an interactive way. She dares to ‘not know’, always looking for an intimate and open conversation.

Music always plays a crucial role in her work, mixing pop music with documentary material to tell her story. She is inspired by the concept of ART-IVISM - whether art can be meaningful in society, by asking the questions which aren’t often asked. In her practice, humour and vulnerability go hand in hand.

15:16 (21 hours ago) 

The political content of my work is to embrace the ideal of a United Europe by creating a European Citizen Popsong, which I ask citizens to give their input into.

You could see my theatrical work as 'soft politics'. It is not meant to be a hard revolution like protesting on the streets, but to create discussion, open talks. My purpose is creating a song, in which the lyrics are built from the bottom-up, from citizen to citizen to studio to theatre. As if I'm the 'embodiement' who absorbs all the opinions of Europe's citizens about ‘the popsong’, and about Europe itself in this day and age.  

I think that's what Europe needs right now. Listening to its citizens, not by short term referendums with huge political effects, but trying to minimize the gap between the E.U. and it's citizens. To connect again with the citizens. To let them feel that the politics are about them.  In theatre, we are able to dream out loud, to change reality, to question it. The popsong is a symbolic way of bringing attention to the politics of the personal. If it will change the world? I don't know. If we should continue making theatre that questions the reality of today? For sure! Every opinion or eye-opener is necessary.

2. I have been very busy with this long term theatre piece for two years and a lot of people worked on the project by seeing a performance and then giving their input. In this case, I worked with speech writers, with music producers, and with citizens with great ideas, who were inspired by my performance. So in this case, I could indeed move people to action, to 'working together', to create together with me 'the feeling of hope for the future'.

3. The political and theatrical elements in my work should always be balanced. If all I wanted to do is change politics, I would work for a political party. But I create art.  

In my work, there's always a theatrical fiction at the core. In this piece: The belief that a European Citizen Popsong can unify Europe again. Where political reality stops, theatre starts for me.

I cross from left to right on that border of fiction/imagination and reality. On that border, my inspiration opens.

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