deuce based on a quarreling pair by jane bowles
cast: catherine ten bruggencate, ria eimers
a toneelschuur production
What tennis players and actors (m/f) ought to have in common is the concentration, the alertness to one another’s movements and attitudes in order to fathom the other’s psyche. In the performance that I have attended, the concentration was almost complete. This was stage acting like it ought to be, intense and yet relaxed, bound to tackle the other yet lovingly. The mutual bonding that opponents feel in a sport like tennis, likewise characterizes superb acting, that is to say taking risks. In this way, the sisterly quarrel by the exquisite Jane Bowles can become a metaphor for people, at any rate for women, who belong together despite all disparity. This Deuce is a lovely ladies singles.
Under the direction of Annette Apon, every movement, jump and slip has been meticulously planned out. What makes Deuce amusing, is that the players still know how to surprise one another within those established lines. A weird little jump by Eimers, an unexpected kick from Ten Bruggencate, it not only amuses the spectator but also puts the opposite player briefly off balance. And so it yet again turns into a genuine contest, now in stage acting. What I particularly like about Deuce, is the playfulness of the endeavour. Ten Bruggencate, the distinguished star from Persona and Publiekstheater, seems to be freed from a straightjacket and visibly relishes it. I would like to see more ambitious productions made with this mentality.