Tackling our focus on individual happiness, Femke Platteau and Freek De Craecker set out to start thinking about collective alternatives with Bla Bla Blues (8+)
Fit for children above 8 and their family, Bla Bla Blues (2019) patches a collage of people searching for a worthy existence in an individualised world, in an 80’s apartment block as setting. As characters make an appearance, their struggles with loneliness, all expressed differently, are gradually revealed. They come home, pick up life where they left off, turn on the television and watch the rose-coloured, seemingly beautiful version of living, which strikingly contrasts with their own existence.
Aiming towards such a glossy lifestyle, they try to grasp that fulfilment via soaps, TV commercials, Eurovision Song Contest, aerobics and cooking shows. But deep down, they somehow know there’s no real content in it and ultimately realize the media’s emptiness and its hunger for all things glitzy – a parallel narrative we encounter nowadays through internet’s role models and successful stories of self-made people on social media.
The children’s play originates from their mutual investigation of a generation fixed on personal happiness. While questioning the possibility of interconnecting values and mutual trust, the play is a first step in shifting from an I to a we-generation.
During their one-week residency, they thematically framed the play even more by developing scenes, textual materials, decorating elements, clothing, wigs and so on. Bla Bla Blues officially premieres in the end of September at De Vieze Gasten, and then embarks on a small tour in Flanders.
Platteau describes her work as mythical, humoristic and grotesque, while cherishing a fascination for extreme characters, alienating universes and magical feasts. From an absurd, often funny and childishly honest perspective De Craecker focuses on growing up and finding your own place as a young person in a world which is under pression of social media and constant competition. Despite these heavy themes, his creations appear open and playful and uses the mediums we draw upon in daily life.
All images © Leontien Allemeersch
Femke Platteau graduated in 2015 as an actress and theatre maker at KASK’s drama department with the graduation project Bestiaria, performed in collaboration with Lobke Leirens and Diede Roossens. Since then, she has worked for e.g. 4Hoog (with Frans Van der Aa & Raf Walschaerts), Abattoir Fermé’s Stef Lernous, CAMPO’s Pieter Ampe, Naomi Kerkhove… She also performs in Compagnie De Kolifokkers under the watchful eye of writer Anna Carlier.
Bla Bla Blues crowns Freek De Craecker’s training in drama at KASK, Ghent. His resume witnesses work experience at 4Hoog (also with Frans Van der Aa & Raf Walschaerts) and A Two Dogs Company, and he also worked with Jan Martens & Lukas Dhont and with TAAT and CAMPO for a do-it-together theatre installation in Ghent’s iconic Sint-Niklaaskerk.
Bla Bla Blues seals their second collaboration, allowing both artists to once again claim a spot within the field of children’s theatre.