For En avant, marche! the directors Frank Van Laecke and Alain Platel have taken inspiration from the tradition of musical groups which for decades have been part of the social and cultural life. The musical direction is in the hands of Steven Prengels. At every venue, the four actors and seven musicians will be joined by a local brass band or marching band on stage.
A miniature society
Music clubs – brass and other wind bands – have been part of the social and cultural life for decades. In 2012, this inspired the Huis van Alijn museum in Ghent to present a much appreciated exhibition of photos and traditional objects from past and present, under the titleEn avant, marche! In cooperation with Stephan Vanfleteren and other photographers, this also led to a book of photos, containing both new portraits of musicians and majorettes and black & white pictures from the archives.
Now, under the same title – En avant, marche! – it is the directors Frank Van Laecke and Alain Platel who, together with the composer Steven Prengels, have taken inspiration from this tradition. This is their first joint production since Gardenia, the theatre production that brought them so much success at home and abroad in 2010, among other places at the Avignon Festival and in Great Britain, where it was nominated for the prestigious Olivier Awards in 2012. For this new production, Van Laecke and Platel approach the world of music clubs as a ‘miniature society’ in its own right: a collective of very different individuals who try to keep to one and the same marching direction. An arrangement that is kept as well as possible, sometimes by trial and error, and as such is a metaphor for our society as a whole.