shows & projects
The Final Installation of The Beauty of Decay was presented as
The Last Scène
in collaboration with Festival Karavaan (extraordinary theater on location)
During the Festival De Karavaan 2012 the travelling company Speeltheater Holland said goodbye to the Dutch public in a grand and festive way with the performance Mysteries on Marken (won the Karavaan Audience Award 2012).
The artistic team Onny Huisink and Saskia Janse continued to produce projects and performances abroad under the name Speeltheater Holland STUDIO.
Our last project was presented from 26 May (Ascension Day) to 26 June 2022 with the appropriate title:
The Last Scene
Most puppets of Speeltheater Holland were donated to museums in different countries to be exhibited and/or preserved.
For the puppets of The Starmaker another plan was born with the working title 'The Beauty of Decay'
Since 2013 puppet scenes have been placed outside in various places: in the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain and in two places in the United States.
Not to preserve them, but just the opposite:
The scenes will slowly change, perhaps disappear completely, under different conditions, not protected from the elements and climate, ranging from extremely cold, wet, or hot or scorching hot. The sun and the wind, the rain and snow, the birds, insects and even people have free rein. Nature takes over and changes the image.
The course of this process has been documented, filmed, photographed or, for example, in an outdoor museum in the Nevada desert, by selfies of visitors.
The goal was to follow the process of decay for a number of years, which is interesting in itself, but also to be able to experience the melancholy and even the 'beauty' of the decay. Eventually, all the remains returned to the studio in Warder and there the final installation The Last Scène was presented in collaboration with Festival De Karavaan.
See her all the five places where the puppets were placed.
A puppet comes to life when it is manipulated by the puppeteer.
The puppets of the performance The Starmaker came to life on stage in 2000. A performance with more than 20 life size puppets and 3 actors inspired by the Italian film 'L'Uomo delle Stelle' by Giuseppe Tornatore.
The story of a man who travels through Sicily with a camera to entice people from the villages to do a screen test with the hollow promise that they will become rich and famous in the future. A scammer. He has no film in his camera and only one goal: to take advantage of the poor villagers, who are willing to believe in this dream.
In addition to the three actors, all the other characters in the game were puppets: the Sicilian villagers, the police and a mafia boss.
Photo from the play The Starmaker (L) Har Smeets (r) Nico de Vries © Dirk Buwalda
The puppets were made by Onny Huisink from simple, natural materials, such as coarsely woven potato bags and old worn clothes, which had already had a life. In the play they hung on thick ropes above the stage and with the help of pulleys and sandbags they could be brought down to make, for example, an intimate scene with one or two puppets or when necessary a whole square full of villagers.
For The Last Scene, the audiences could visit the final resting place of these puppets. Inside and outside the studio with a view of the North Holland polders and the dike, the remains were shown and you could follow the last journey of these puppets and the course of the decay. All this was framed with sound and images, video and finally a live musical farewell. No grand and festive farewell, rather subdued and reflective, but no less impressive.
Idea and implementation: Onny Huisink and Saskia Janse
Design: Onny Huisink
Clarinetist: Michel Marang
Voice Mama: Betty Schuurman Story: Saskia Janse
Technician: Frits Janszen
With thanks to:
Han Hogeland and John Treffer, Warder, IJsselmeerdijk 30
Film: Silent Secrets
Idoya Otegui. Museum Topic, Tolosa, Spanje
Photography: Maria San Sebastiàn
Purni Morell, Unicorn Theater, Londen, UK
Photography: Saskia Janse
Todd Jefferson Moore, actor
Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo document: The Harlot and the Officers
Richard Stephens, Goldwell Open Air Museum
Beatty, near Death Valley, Nevada, USA
Selfies of the visitors
Other photographs: Carla Kogelman, Maarten Schets and Dirk Buwalda†
Antique Bed Mattress Springs: Chambres d'hôtes La Perle d’Anrosey (laperledanrosey.nl)
Carpenter/designer: Koen Broersen (koenbroersen.nl) and Madee Doets
Video play The Starmaker: compilation fragments Saskia Janse.
Original theatre direction: Margrith Vrenegoor and Onny Huisink.
Actors: Har Smeets †, Nico de Vries and Margot van Doorn.
Special thanks to Ilse van Dijk and Nico Bink, Festival De Karavaan
We dedicated The Last Scène to Har Smeets, actor in various productions of Speeltheater Holland including The Starmaker