Bigmouth – The Play
He who picks his words well can turn the weakest argument into the strongest. The absolute truth doesn’t exist. It’s just a pretty lie for those who desire world power, or just the hand of their beloved.
In a tour de force performance, Valentijn Dhaenens pays tribute to 2,500 years of oration. Ingeniously weaving together seminal speeches from the Grand Inquisitor and Socrates to Mohammed Ali and Osama Bin Laden, Bigmouth shows the tricks of rhetoric have hardly changed.
With five microphones on a bare set, his voice and indefatigable energy, Dhaenens traverses sermons, declarations of war, farewells, final arguments, victory speeches and eulogies from across time.
It is hard not to be slightly envious of Valentijn Dhaenens. With his sinister charm and understated charisma, takes to the space like a soul possessed in his eighty-minute solo sections of infamous, famous or the more obscure speeches from world history that make up Bigmouth.
Valentijn Dhaenens – Director and Performer
After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Dramatic Arts at the Hogeschool in Antwerp, Valentijn co-founded his own theater company, Skagen. From 2006, the company has been rewarded with structural subsidisation from the Flemish / Belgian Government for their work as one of the leading modern theater groups in Belgium and Holland. Since 2000, Valentijn has worked mostly in theatre with over 30 productions (3 in English) and also film and television.
Film credits include: The Boy Is Gone; Code 37; Aspe, 2012; De Hoer En Het Meisje, Pelgrim; Où Va La Nuit, 2011; Copacabana and Nachtraven, 2010 among others.
TV credits include: Louis La Broncante; Zone Stad, 2011; Oud België, 2010; Witse, 2005; Recht Op Recht, 2000.
Theatre credits include: Fight Night; CCC, 2013; Uncle Vanya, 2012; Berlin Alexanderplatz; The Enthousiasts, 2010; Wonderland / After Alice In Wonderland; Degrotemond; Selection Theatrefestival Belgium; TF Holland 2009/10; After the Kingdom and Lars Von Trier 2009 among numerous others.
SKaGeN is a theatre company that has been producing highly successful plays in Flanders and the Netherlands since 2000, both on the art circuit and the more public-oriented festival circuit (e.g. Summer in Antwerp, Theatre on the Market). This success derives from its combination of high artistic standards and accessibility. SKaGeN was formed by members of a class that graduated from the renowned Antwerp Conservatory, headed by a lion of Flemish theatre, Dora van der Groen, and the internationally acclaimed theatre and opera director Ivo Van Hove. The group has developed into one of the leading theatre companies of its generation. SKaGeN has built a tradition to adapt great novels for theatre. SKaGeN’s versions of La Peste by Albert Camus, Voyage au bout de la nuit by L.F. Céline and Berlin Alexanderplatz by A. Döblin are successful examples of this.
SKaGeN is Valentijn Dhaenens, Korneel Hamers, Mathijs Scheepers and Clara van den Broek, www.skagen.be
RICHARD JORDAN PRODUCTIONS LTD
Richard Jordan Productions is an Olivier and TONY Award-winning production company based in London under the artistic leadership of producer Richard Jordan. Founded in 1998, his company has produced over 190 productions in the UK as well as 21 other countries, including 70 world premieres and 69 European, Australian or US premieres enjoying associations with many of the world’s leading theatres and arts organisations. Described by The Stage newspaper as “one of the UK’s most prolific theatre producers”, Richard was the first recipient of the TIF/Society of London Theatre Producers Award and a finalist in the British Council Creative Entrepreneur Award.
Richard’s past productions have won a number of awards including: the TONY Award for Best Play; the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement at an Affiliate Theatre; the Emmy Award for Best Feature section; eight Scotsman Fringe Firsts Awards; two Herald Angel Awards; six Total Theatre Awards; The Spirit of the Fringe Award; the Off-West End Award; three Helen Hayes Awards; the Adelaide Festival Award; the US Black Alliance Award; Stage Award; Obie Award; the John Gassner Award for Best New American Play; Jeff Award; the Lucille Lortel Award and the Drama Desk, Drama League, New York Critics and Outer Critic Circle Best New Play Awards.
SKaGeN and Richard Jordan Productions produce together worldwide their co-productions of BigMouth and its companion piece SmallWaR which have enjoyed sell-out season in over 10 countries.
“Five microphones,one voice,and his talent.This is all actor Valentijn Dhaenens needs to make the monologue ‘Bigmouth’ an original and, above all, convincing piece of theater.” – DeVolkskrant(Netherlands)
“Enthralling roller-coaster through history and its (in)humanity by one man powerhouse Valentijn Dhaenens” – The List
“Unnerving, technically risky and thought provoking… I would hate to have missed it” – The Times