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Dutch site specific theatre group.

In 2011 Prins te Paard created The Flight. In this performance Prins te Paard reconstructs the final mission of an allied bomber in World War II. The show tells the story of a war pilot who to this day is missing. The performance offers a lot more than conventional theatre. It is giant object-theatre with an excavator, a sprinkler irrigator and magical theatre effects such as the deafening roar of original B17engines, blistering lightning of antiaircraft fire and original video recordings. In this performance the role of ‘Aircraft Recovery Crew’ are carried out by local actors. The show was performed on several festivals in the Netherlands and Germany.

The boys... “Bail out!”, I shouted “Bail out!” Then I saw the water Not a chance I didn’t jump I miss you, forever, eternally, my Love

THE FLIGHT In “The Flight” theatre company Prins te Paard reconstructs the final mission of an allied bomber in World War II. The show tells the story of a war pilot who to this day is missing. The airspace over the fields has been his home for over seventy years. But now his downed plane is recovered and excavated. He returns to the crash site and finds a precious object between the metal pieces of wreckage. His memories return and with the help of an excavator he takes us with him on his last and fatal flight. But het doesn’t only relive the memories of his last view from the cockpit-window or the conversations with his crewmembers, also and foremost the unbearable longing for his ‘ever-lovin’ returns. A love that has not been cut short after so many years…

The Flight is a spectacular yet dramatic performance; a kaleidoscope of sound, light, water and fire effects, giant objects and one actor.

BACKGROUND, STORY AND STAGE During World War 2 almost 6000 airplanes crashed in the Netherlands. All of them dramatic events, and each one could be the starting point for a search. Liset Moerdijk and Rutger Bergboer found a newspaper article about a plane wreck only 3 streets from where they live (a B17-bomber called “Dinah Might”). They also encountered the diary of a young American pilot that provides vivid details about the pilot’s live during his war period. Out of these Liset Moerdijk and Rutger Bergboer got the inspiration for a plot, which developed into a script and finally an ingenious, cross-genre play. First of all as an homage to all that went missing during WW2, but also as a neverending romantic love story. What happens when crewmembers are never found? Often their loved ones back home never lose hope and will not declare them dead, but where are they? Roaming the skies forever, like the Flying Dutchman roamed the seas? In “The Flight”, the pilot returns to his excavated wreck and tells us his unforgettable and moving story were, in the end, he only has one desperate desire: to go home. The Flight is not so much about war as it is about a man’s emotional struggle in his final moments of hopelessness, once he realizes he will never see his loved ones again. His story could be one of thousands of similar ones that are told all around the globe for as long as war and love are universal, planes fall from the sky and crewmembers go missing.

Therefore Prins te Paard has decided to develop a touring production of this project. In many regions stories of crashed aircraft are circulating. Prins te Paard tries to find such a parallel to a regional historical event at each place where “The Flight� is performed. When found, those local events are integrated in the presentation. But also without such a reference the performance has a profound impact on an audience. The Flight can be staged at theatre festivals, but is fit for much more. One could think of memorial events of World War II or I, for example, and other military events, or at places where plane wrecks are recovered and the events and crew involved remembered (in Holland alone the remains of an estimated 2000 airplanes from the WW2 remain in the ground, unrecovered).

The Flight can be placed at a construction site, a pasture, a clearing in the woods, on the edge of an airfield, near a river, or even in the middle of a city.

THE PERFORMANCE Entrance: the audience is taken to an excavation site where more than 70 years after the end of the war - the wreck of a WW2-bomber has been found. An excavator is carefully digging for remnants of the wrecked plane. The audience is allowed a visit to this peculiar location where a crew of archaeologists (played by local, non-professional actors) is collecting pieces of wreckage and composing them to an exhibition in their work-tent. These parts are original remains of a B17 bomber that crashed in Holland. The audience passes through the tent before taking a seat on the grandstand. The digging stops, the performance begins. The working lights are shut down, the tent is closed, the wheelbarrows stowed. When the workmen have gone, suddenly a strange aircraft appears, carrying Roman Delta, the pilot that went missing after his plane crashed‌ Now he returns to the crash site and takes the audience along on his last flight. The Flight has a tremendous impact but is amazingly simple, really. The stage consists of a sprinkler irrigator, the excavator and the exhibition tent. These platforms together with theatrical effects composed of sound, light and video, make a fantastic universe: the audience finds itself inside the flying casket and sees the vastness of the hostile world underneath the tiny aircraft. They see the airfield and face the runway where all the bombers take off for the raid. The excavator mutates into one of those. Simple handholds suddenly become the emergency escape. The water haze from the sprinkler system turns into condensation trails from the engines, the big excavation-arm

simulates the take-off and crash-landing. Thus, the true story is translated into vivid imagery that allows the audience to develop their own associations and emotions. To perfect the illusion, original film- and audio fragments are woven into the spectacle. The diary of a young American bomber pilot serves as inspiration for the words of our pilot. In order to preserve the authenticity, the protagonist speaks (an easy to understand) English. Subtitles in the language spoken at the place where the performance is held are projected onto the wall of the white-painted work-tent. On the European street theatre festival Detmold (2012) “The Flight� was presented in English with German subtitles. The captions can easily be translated into any language. The Flight is staged with only one actor, but it is not just a solo piece. The captivating magic of the piece is created by the interaction of the sentimental acting of the main character, the associative props and special effects. This requires careful fulfillment of all of the technical requirements.

The Flight is staged with only one actor, but it is not just a solo piece. The captivating magic is created by the interaction between the main character and the associative props and special effects.


Deventer op Stelten Deventer, NL

Festival Buitengewoon Doetinchem, NL

Festival Karavaan Bergen, NL

Wandertheaterfestival Radebeul, DE


European Street Theatre Festival Detmold, DE


Festival Uit-je Tent Noordoostpolder, NL

Festival XL Dronten, NL

Festival Karavaan Alkmaar, NL

Festival Almere Almere, NL


PRINS TE PAARD, NL a location theatre company Prins te Paard is an experienced Dutch site specific theatre group, founded in 2005. Its home base is located in one of the deepest polders of the Netherlands: at 4,5 mtr. below sea level. Initiators Liset Moerdijk (land designer) and Rutger Bergboer (theatre director) share a deep passion for visual location theatre, putting the limelight on people, places and local stories. With a team of theatre artists, engineers, sound designers, builders, porters and actors, Prins te Paard creates outstanding theatre projects. With or without spoken words. With light and sound, water and fire. Everything seamlessly fits the surroundings and everything else that is available and imaginable and somehow Prins te Paard always finds ways to realize what is deemed impossible. Elements Prins te Paard uses could be an irrigation system or huge agricultural machines, some Belgian horses, a large sailing vessel, 7000 white flower pots or an excavator. Prins te Paard immerses its audiences into an imaginary world, right from the moment people park their car until the very end of the show. Prins te Paard is the name of several equally named 17th century warships and merchant ships that sailed the seas during the Golden Age of the Netherlands. Liset Moerdijk and Rutger Bergboer connect this historic fact with today’s adventure, upheaval, changes and hopes. Before Prins te Paard, Rutger Bergboer and Liset Moerdijk worked together at theatre company “The Lunatics” as artistic director and light designer.

RUTGER BERGBOER Lives in Nagele | NL Since 2005: Prins te Paard : artistic director and management 1996 — 2004: Lunatics Graduated as theatre director at University of Fine Arts Zwolle Born in 1970 LISET MOERDIJK Lives in Nagele | NL Since 2005: Prins te Paard : artistic director and management 2000 — 2004: Lunatics: Light | Stage | Effects Graduated as land designer University of Wageningen Born in 1970

PROJECTS BY PRINS TE PAARD 2012 WATERWOLF In Dutch “Waterwolf” bears the meaning of the ongoing threat of the sea, ever hungry for land. In the forest where “Waterwolf” was staged Dutch water engineers build large scale models of harbors, rivers, canals and deltas from all over the world to study and learn how to manage the dangers of tide and water. When the engineers left, the models of sites in Bangkok, Libia, Nigeria, the Dutch coast or Hamburg, remained as ruins. In the performance one engineer still struggles against the “Waterwolf”. He does not believe that our world is now safe. He fights ‘till the end but finally has to surrender to the Waterwolf. We used over 63 kW of electric pump-power, 1 kilometer of water hose. At every gig we moved over 1200 cubic meters of water. 20 local actors carried out the roles of guides, engineers and ghosts of those who drowned. 2010 FIRMY GLAS In “Firmy Glas” the (true) story of many greenhouse companies is told, in an actual greenhouse. Everything is a lot less rosy than it appears tot be. The owners of a small greenhouse try to keep up with modernization and global competition. “Firmy Glas” is a play about choices. About remaining small or growing bigger and bigger to keep up with the ever expanding proliferation of world economy. Real Polish employees play a modest but essential role. The same globalised world that ruins them is also their salvation. All texts were translated and projected into Polish.

2010 SIRENS In the pond of a public park a special spectacle was made ​​ for the “Oord Festival”. The show consisted of beautiful visual effects and atmospheric sounds and was viewed by more than 700 spectators. The story of “Sirens” is about a man that decides to exchange his comfortable horizon for another, to find out that this is the best choice he could ever make. 2009 AUDIOWALK SCHOKLAND Commissioned by Flevo-landschap two audio walks were made on the former isle of Schokland (UNESCO World Heritage). Cultural history, stories and anecdotes alternate on this audio walk with MP3 players and a booklet. The audio walk is an integral experience that takes visitors across the former island, to its old lighthouse and its harbor while they listen to sounds and stories of the past, the present and the future. 2007 DIJK-IN A dike of twelve meters high, a large meadow, a strong FM transmitter, two huge projectors, your own car and a radio play: these are the ingredients for the drive-in spectacle “Dijk-In”. You watch and listen, sitting in your car that is parked in front of the dike, with your car stereo tuned into a radio play. You listen to the narrative of an old shepherd who enters the new polderland, filled with pride, hopes and dreams for the future. But each year more rules, more laws and more regulations are being put up. The old shepherd can’t cope with all these and finally has to depart from his beloved sheep. 50 local people participated as actors on the dike.

2006 MIDWINTERCINEMA In December two hundred spectators watched a frail, old blackand-white documentary about the building of a dike. The film was projected on a steep dike that was painted white for the occasion. To get to this place, in the middle of nowhere, the public went for a midwinter-walk, guided by hundreds of little lights. We wanted the audience to share in what the men that built the dike experienced, sixty years ago. Their hardship and their solidarity. 2005 NORDSTEN Nordsten is a visual performance about an old lighthouse keeper who just can’t get used to the idea that the sea has vanished. In the middle of new farmland, he bravely keeps his lighthouse running. The waters that flow from irrigation systems provide the waves he cherishes and every night he switches on his huge light. Until one day, when a tractor appears. It demolishes his carefully constructed world and ushers the dawn of a new era. The story is about the courage of giving up your old dreams in order to enter new ones. Nordsten was the first performance of Prins te Paard in the rural area of Flevoland, with massive agricultural machines, farmers, two horses and a solo-artist.

It’s a strange feeling, Flying over enemy country. There are people in the air and on the ground whose sole purpose is to shoot you out of your cockpit. You don’t even know them. You are not even properly introduced. You never had the chance to go and hate each other. Here you are: in a glass-enclosed cockpit at 8 km altitude, minus 40˚C.

CONTACT artistic director Rutger Bergboer | Prins Te Paard +31 6 166 00 477 tour planning Ute Classen +49 241 450 48 410 Prins te Paard locatietheater Stichting Koning te Rijk Havenweg 22 8308 RJ Nagele | Nederland

Prins Te Paard — The Flight  

A booklet about The Flight — the performance created in 2011 by site specific theatre group Prins te Paard.

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