Jan Lauwers on The Deer House:

"Art is actually all about man and human nature and all good art is a self-portrait of the observer. ‘One sees what one has learnt.’ In good theatre things happen which cannot happen in video, film or art. As a medium, theatre has the most direct link with ‘human nature’ since it is performed by people and for people. It is essential to seek out this human nature so that theatre can redefine itself in order to survive. This means it is necessary to tell new stories.

I was prompted to write The Deer House by the sometimes tragic peripheral events that take place within the close circle of NC. While we were on tour somewhere in France, one of our dancers, Tijen Lawton, received the news that her brother, the war journalist Kerem Lawton, had been shot dead in Kosovo. His tragic death provided the starting point for a play about a group of theatre-makers who are increasingly faced with the harsh reality of the world they travel around in. Everything is politics, but art isn’t everything. Art always gets caught between the pages of history: it is futile and has no influence on any events at all, which is where the mysterious necessity for it lies."


The Salzburger Festpiele invited Jan Lauwers to make a new production, The Deer House, for summer 2008. Together with Isabella’s Room (2004) and The Lobster Shop (2006) this new production makes up a trilogy on human nature: Sad Face / Happy Face. The trilogy as a whole was performed for the first time at the Salzburger Festspiele.
Première
Perner-Insel, Hallein, Salzburger Festspiele
28 July 2008

Text, scenography, images
Jan Lauwers

With
Grace Ellen Barkey, Anneke Bonnema, Hans Petter Dahl, Viviane De Muynck, Misha Downey, Julien Faure, Benoît Gob, Yumiko Funaya, Maarten Seghers, Eléonore Valère (replaces Tijen Lawton) and Inge Van Bruystegem.

Musique
Hans Petter Dahl, Maarten Seghers
Except “Song for the deer house”, which was written by Jan Lauwers

Costumes
Lot Lemm

A Production by Needcompany and Salzburger Festspiele.

Coproduction: Schauspielhaus Zurich, PACT Zollverein (Essen).

With the collaboration of deSingel (Antwerp),
La Rose des vents (Scène national de Villeneuve d’Ascq), Kaaitheater (Brussels).

With the support of the Flemish authorities.