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Mother of Europe with two faces

The first story of 2018 will be told in the Grote or Jacobijnerkerk in Leeuwarden. On the 28th January a spectacular presentation will take place, inspired by the church’s famous visitor Marie Louise,   Arch mother of nearly all monarchies in Europe. The script for this performance will be written by Bouke Oldenhof, directed by Sjoeke Marije Wallendal under artistic supervision of Jos Thie.

The mother of Europe is buried in Leeuwarden. Marie- Louis van Hessen-Kassel is an ancestor of all European ruling monarchies as well as other (Royal and noble) families in Europe. However, there are two skulls in her grave. This has to do with the desecration that happened in 1975 after the Patriots took over when the French raided the country.  The Orange family’s weapons and mourning signs were burnt, the grave monuments of the first Frisian governor Willem-Lodewijk and his wife were ruined and lastly thirty coffins with Nassau’s residues was opened.

Spectacular tour

The story about the mother of Europe will be told in the Grote Kerk in the form of a spectacular tour in which the public will be divided into eleven groups, each with their own tour guide who will take them to one of the eleven church entrances.  It is not a regular performance in which the visitor sits and watches but it will be an experience. It will be all around you. It will engage and overwhelm you, stimulating all the senses. This is an experience in which the public is not only a spectator, but also a participant. The eleven groups can influence the way the story goes.

Two faces

The story about the grave desecration and the two skulls that are now buried are the ingredients for a theatre event about anger and politics. That is why the makers (Bouke Oldenhof – script, Sjoeke Marije Wallendal- director) ask the audience the current question; How do we want to be governed in Europe in the 21st century?

A team of top designers and actors from all over Europe are working together on this experience such as, Mirjam Grote Gansey – design and Arjen Klerkx- projection.