One Million People and Me is a multidisciplinarian theatre project in 2 parts about identity and the absurd fragility of our existence.
There is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards.— Albert Camus
Every year nearly one million people worldwide decide to end their own life.
Suicide is one of the three biggest causes of death in an economical productive age category i.e. 15 to 44 years old.
Suicide is a very confronting and intrusive phenomena , which is often surrounded by an even greater taboo and privacy than sex.
Suicide confronts us with the absurdity of life.
It reminds us of our own finiteness and our inevitable mortality.
The separation between an individual and its own life happens often out of a sensation of absurdity.
This absurdity will be provoked each time we confront our desire for clarity and meaning with the reality of the world as it is.
A big inspiration to this project is the written work of Edouard Levé, a French writer and photographer. In 2007 he delivers the manuscript of his latest novel to the publisher. A few days later he will end his own life. His book Suicide cannot be seen any different anymore than a public farewell letter. Especially for this project Veerle van Overloop made an adaptation of this book.
A theatrical audiotour on outdoor location
Whilst arriving at the theatre, the audience ( max. 20 people) will be instructed to put on wireless headphones. Through these headphones a voice starts leading the public outside the theatre where they will be awaited by an unknown masked person, who will turn out to be the public’s guide for the whole audio tour.
Whilst following the guide the audience listens to a cinematic soundscape in which a story about an abruptly finished life unfolds. Somewhere along the walk the guide will suddenly hold still and reveal his true identity. By taking off the mask and showing his true face, the public understands the guide is not an actor but a real-life person who is experiencing life from a less brighter side.
In this piece the audience will have an incisive experience of being both spectator and actor in a story that could be theirs with the city and her inhabitants as an instant film set.
A short dance / theatre film
In collaboration with dancer Adam Peterson ( Club Guy & Roni ) and director of photography Lex Vesseur, Veerle van Overloop created a short dance/theater film for and with 6 young dancers and 2 actors. During the season 2017-2018 , they were part of the Poetic Disasters Club, the talent development program of Club Guy & Roni.
In this film portrait, 8 talented and ambitious young adults will publicly share in an absurd and disarming way their autobiography without revealing whether these revelations are true or falls.
CONCEPT/DIRECTOR Veerle van Overloop | CHOREOGRAPHY Adam Peterson | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Lex Vesseur | PERFORMERS Olympia Kotopoulos, Eliana Stragapede, Tim Stomer, Louis Thuriot, Borna Babic, Ayisha Siddiqi, Phoenix Chase- Meares, Matija Franjes
EEN COPRODUCTIE VAN ShELFISH, Grand Theatre, Noord Nederlands Toneel, Club Guy & Roni.
FINANCIEEL MOGELIJK GEMAAKT DOOR Station Noord en Kunstraad Groningen.