By: Carolien Verduijn
The theatre performance Escape by TAMTAM Objektentheater is based on the
traditional puppet show. But instead of behind a black screen, the
performers Gérard Schiphorst and Marije van der Sande are behind a large
cinema screen. The ‘live animation film’ that is created in this way is about a ‘hoarder’, a
man with extreme passion for collecting.
The company reflects with this fascinating concept not only on the
consumer society, but also on its own working method.
TAMTAM Objektentheater uses in its performances, the name says it all,
all kinds of objects. They place these objects under a camera, with which the images
can then be shown directly to the public at large magnification. How to change
remote controls in skyscrapers and a cleaning cloth in a sea.
Can they escape of it?
Schiphorst and Van der Sande give us a glimpse into the life of a man with extreme
collecting drive. Fed by the consumer society, his house is full of, among other things,
neatly sorted reading glasses, cards and a lot of toy pigs. Meanwhile
the promotional flyers and newspapers pile up along the walls. The excess begins to dazzle the
man… How long will this last? The man symbolises mankind who as
a parasite lives on Earth. Using it, but giving nothing in return. Luckily
some ‘parasites’ are aware of the damage. Do they still have time to turn the tide?
In other words: ‘Can they escape from it?’
This heavy subject becomes a lot lighter with small non-verbal jokes that make you chuckle. Like the man who can no longer find the right one among all his reading glasses.
At the same time, this also indicates the tragic theme of how humans interact with the earth
can suffer from overconsumption.
Less is more
Schiphorst’s music, specially composed for Escape, makes you feel this:
the melodies are bombastic and menacing. Fortunately, there is occasionally
there is also room for lighter piano sounds that take away some of this threat. There is no
words spoken. In other theater performances this may be boring, but here
we are dealing with a typical case of less is more. It just gives room for
your own interpretation of the images, without it being forced on you.
Speech would even distract from the images composed with attention to detail. Objects
are given a second life at TAMTAM Objektentheater through the creativity with which they are
deployed. Letterboxes turn into blocks of flats and old iron turns into fantasy creatures and humans.
With love and attention to their profession, Van der Sande and Schiphorst have over the years
developed a unique concept with which they not only reflect on the
consumer society, but also on their own collection of objects that are the waste of
that same society. Developing and performing a live animation film is great, but the
quality associated with this unique concept makes Escape fascinating to watch.