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the other voice

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director ivo van hove
from ramsey nasr
duration 1:25
premiere 12 Apr 2016


Since 2009, TA performs The human voice (La voix humaine), a monologue by Jean Cocteau from 1928. The woman who speaks is on the telephone with her ex. What he says, we do not hear. We can try to deduce it from the reactions of the woman, but we do not know for certain.


Ramsey Nasr knew the text, he saw the performance and wondered: but what is the man saying? Who is it on the other side of the line? He writes the answer and performs it, directed by Ivo van Hove. While Cocteau’s theatre monologue tells the tragic story of one woman, this new text The other voice (De andere stem) emphasizes the inextricable union of a two people who desperately try to detach themselves from each other and do not succeed.

Ramsey Nasr (1974) is an author, actor and director. He was Dichter des Vaderlands (Poet Laureate) of the Netherlands and city poet of Antwerp. In 2013, he performed as a theatre actor for the first time in thirteen years in  A long day’s journey into night. Since then, he has been part of the ensemble of Toneelgroep Amsterdam.


Ramsey Nasr about The other voice

‘It had seemed a logical question to me for years: what does that man on the other side of the line actually have to say? To my amazement, I kept hearing and reading that it must be quite a heartless guy: to leave for another woman so soon after your relationship. What a brute. But who really says that? Nobody. We don’t hear him. The human voice consists of the relations and insinuations of the woman who has been left. I thought it was unfair that his reply could not be heard and would remain invisible. I became curious about his version of the story. The other voice is the story of two people, addicted to each other, knowing they were never made for each other.’


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