Menuet - NTGent/ Liliane Brakema
In Menuet, Louis Paul Boon sketches a love triangle between a labourer, his wife, and the maid. The book has an explicitly sexual theme, which outraged some literary critics, mostly from the Catholic circle by Boon’s so-called ‘dirty mouth’ and ‘filthiness’, as a result of the sexual fantasies and the infidelity in the storyline. But above all, Menuet is a grand novel about emotional loneliness and existential alienation, and an absolute highlight in Boon’s literary oeuvre.
The title refers to an old French baroque dance in 3/4 time. For director Liliane Brakema, who debuted at NTGent with this production, this is an extra reason to continue her artistic research on the interaction between text and physical expression. The working process steps back from classical text theatre, giving room to improvisation and choreography and investigates how the body relates to the set. The result is a poetic performance, with equal
attention to text and image.
The book bursts with theatre. While reading, I kept asking myself why the characters speak so much, why they don’t have a single quiet moment – they’re stuck in talking and you could make this sensory on stage by using, for example, music or images.Liliane Brakema - director
The stage adaptation of Menuet does justice to Boon’s work of the same name. It is a compleeing visual experience that is driven by a cast of excellent actors.
In this sober setting, Boon’s evocative prose demands full attention. In particular, Luppes gives it a urgent rhythm and is intriguing as the husband.