Five Easy Pieces
Conceived, written and directed by
Milo Rau / CAMPO / IIPM
At CAMPO arts centre in Ghent (Belgium), and following experiments by Tim Etchells, Gob Squad and Philippe Quesne, Milo Rau has created a show for adults that is performed by children (aged 8 to 13). Produced together with CAMPO, Five Easy Pieces focuses on a traumatic and taboo episode in Belgian contemporary history: the life and crimes of paedophile and murderer Marc Dutroux. Beyond this sordid case, this episode is a focal point for questions troubling Belgian society: the colonial past in the Congo, the mining crisis, the corruption of the ruling classes and the revolt of civil society. With Five Easy Pieces, (title borrowed from Stravinsky’s compositions to teach his children the piano), Milo Rau asks the fundamental questions of theatre: what does it mean to play a role, to imitate, to feel, and to narrate? And how do you involve children in adult theatre? What does an adult audience feel when watching a performance of children behaving like them? Five Easy Pieces is a “negative education of the heart”: the young performers reproduce five vignettes of adult life, without necessarily understanding their full emotional and existential motivations. Through this experimentation, Milo Rau re-examines the forms that have built his reputation as a director (reconstruction, classical tragedy and the direction of actors), while mixing moral and political questions with these directly aesthetic considerations. Far from any naive idealism, this show strikes at the taboos of our societies: it is a directly theatrical way to confront our fears.