High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

STAN: Repertory Theatre with a Breath of Fresh Air
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STAN: Repertory Theatre with a Breath of Fresh Air

(Luk van den Dries) The Low Countries - 2005, № 13, pp. 194-200

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In this theatre company's repertoire, what is most conspicuous is the attention paid to bourgeois society. STAN's favourite authors, Chekhov and Bernhard but also Ibsen, Wilde and Shaw, show up the fat on the bourgeois mentality. There is an edge of greed and intolerance on the propriety, languor and fussy boredom found there, and this is painstakingly brought out in STAN's interpretation. No one escapes the lucid sharpening of their knives. Even the kindly likeable ones appear not to be entirely blameless. Yet this is clearly not a social analysis (though there is no other, better classification), but a scraping taken from each one of us. STAN's theatre makes you very much aware of your own layer of fat. They hone your awareness of your own attitude till it's razor-sharp. That which only a minute ago tickled – since STAN's theatre verges on the hilarious – now suddenly stabs beneath your calloused skin.

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