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duration 1:45
premiere 02 Apr 2016

Liliom is the second project by Julie van den Berghe in the context of TA-2, the platform for the development of young directing talent, in collaboration with Frascati Producties. She also directed Bloedbruiloft (Blood wedding) by Frederico García Lorca.

Liliom works in an amusement park, where he meets Julie. He gets into a fight with the owner of the merry-go-round and loses his job. The couple have nothing to live on. Julie knows that Liliom has nothing to offer her. And yet she continues to choose him. To get money, he plans a robbery on a courier. An action that has great consequences for his own future and Julie’s.

Liliom is about choices and what they mean to a human life. Do people at the bottom of society have the freedom to choose? It doesn’t matter to Liliom whether he is alive or dead, on earth or in the hereafter: he will always be subjected and enslaved.

Liliom is seldom performed in the Netherlands. Incomprehensible and undeserved. In Germany, this moving play is a classic. In Hollywood, the play was adapted for the screen four times and was turned into a famous musical on Broadway, Carrousel.

Hungarian author Ferenc Molnár wrote Liliom in 1909. It is a time of great social change. Rural people are moving to the city en masse, hoping for a better life. Some succeed in climbing the social ladder. Most are disillusioned. They complacently accept their fate. Or they long for America, the land of endless opportunity. Or they go astray, like Liliom.

Julie Van den Berghe about Liliom

‘Budapest, 1909. Just before the WWI. Molnár writes Liliom. 1956. Russian invasion. My grandfather flees his country. On the way to Canada, he loses his heart to a Belgian girl. Ghent, 2016. Two generations later, I – his oldest granddaughter – want to relive the mental journey he made. I start looking for Hungarian repertoire and come to the conclusion that there is not much left to find. How is that possible? Welcome to the wondrous world of Liliom. Where life is what it is, and not just what it seems to be. Welcome to the fair. The perfect place where I myself could taste the enchantment and magic as a child. Where the borders of reality faded in front of my own eyes. Liliom begins as a drama from the laboring classes and evolves into a fairy tale that takes place in the gateway to the hereafter. It is a gift to the imagination. The world of today steers clear of sentiment. It is regarded as kitsch and anti-art. Hungary is sentimental. Molnár writes in a sentimental way. I would want to embrace that.’

ta-2 / Frascati
Within Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s platform for the development of directing talents, TA-2 and Frascati first produced Rashomon-effect, (directed by Joachim Robbrecht), Blood Wedding (directed by Julie Van den Berghe) and A bride in the morning (directed by Maren E. Bjørseth). Liliom will be the fourth collaboration in the multiannual partnership aimed for a step-by-step development of the director’s trade. In this relationship both partners deploy their expertise, and works within larger organisations are the central aim.





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