As the wheels of Mezrab are turning in Amsterdam, I find myself in the Teutonic Castle of Alden Biesen. It’s the first year I’m invited to stay and perform there, together with Mezrab Storytelling School co-founder Raphael Rodan, who has been there previously with his previous shows.
The place is amazing, a big castle with connected riding school, drinking hall and massive church, all bought and fully restored by the Flemmish ministry of culture. It’s a place that hosts big cultural events. It has the Scottish days, drawing thousands to enjoy highland sports, music and dance, but also bit opera nights staged in various locations. It’s also been the home for a HUGE storytelling festival, with over 20.000 visitors in about week.
For us it’s been a dream, living in a piece of paradise, with local cooks looking after our needs. And every day discussing stories with colleagues from Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Portugal, France, Italy, Sweden and Germany. However, we also saw how much our style of storytelling has developed outside of the “traditional” scene of tellers. Luckily this means we have something to say that in this world is rare, and people are warming up to expanding their ideas of what makes a story or a performance.
There’s artists we saw that we want you all to see in the Netherlands, such as the cheeky musician storyteller from Lisbon Carlos Marques, or the chatty and opinionated Fred Versonnen from Leuven.
If you couldn’t make it to this year’s festival, try to make it to the next, and in the mean time, have a look at these two articles. One was presented in Amsterdam a few days ago at an event called Storytelling in the Digital Age.
The first is a presentation on using the new technologies in storytelling, and what those stories even mean, by Lam Thuy Vo.
The second is a Guardian article that everyone is forwarding on social media, Anthony Neilson’s passionate text on the need for theater makers to not be boring.
Well, that’s it. Read, send us interesting bits, and join us for some good tellings!