This company, from the Netherlands, have painstakingly created a scale model based, on Auschwitz-Birkenau, in order to look in detail at the horrors of the Holocaust.
The work was created by Herman Helle, Arlène Hoornweg, and Pauline Kalker, with the very important sound design and performance by Ruud van der Pluijm, who combines a recorded soundtrack with live sounds.
Three performers, Trudi Klever, Maartje van den Brink, and Menno Vroon, carefully weave their way around the delicate set to recreate life in the camp. No punches are pulled. A train arrives, the cattle trucks full of people who are taken straight to the ‘showers’, where they are gassed and the bodies fed into the furnaces. A few prisoners are taken out and hung, while others are forced to watch. Others die from exhaustion. There are numerous other unpleasant events, to which inmates are subjected. We see all of this clearly through the use of a miniature video camera, controlled by one of the trio, the images projected onto the back drop.
We have all heard about the things that happened in the Nazi death camps, and even seen photos, or fragments of film, but this piece ties it all together by showing the entire prison camp and all of its individual activities. This puts it all into context, and the use of the small figurines and the miniature camera brings it back to life size, bringing home the magnitude of the atrocities that were committed.
This is a very moving work, that left some people sitting quietly for a while after its conclusion. It is, in fact, both a historical and social document of great importance, presented as a theatrical event to engage the mind, the senses and the emotions of the audience. It certainly does that most effectively. If there are any tickets left, get one.
Following the performance, the audience was invited forward to look more closely at the models and to ask questions of the company members. It was revealed that each 8cm figurine is made from steel wire, glue, material, and plaster, and they only made around 25 a day due to the detail needed. There were well in excess of 3,000 figures used in the production. Add to that all of the buildings, barbed wire, and other items, including adding lights to buildings for the night scenes, and one gets an idea of the work that went into this productions.
NOTE: There is a total lock-out for all Kamp performances. Late-comers will not be admitted into the theatre. Please be sure to arrive on time
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: to 17th March 2013
Tickets: $30 to $59
Bookings: BASS 131 246 or here