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© Niels Knelis Meijer
© Niels Knelis Meijer
© Niels Knelis Meijer
© Niels Knelis Meijer


Premiere: September 18th 2019, Grand Theatre Groningen. On tour in 2023.

In What Lies Beneath, theatre maker Veerle van Overloop takes issue with and exposes the destructive force of the limited and simplistic news reporting of our media today. With its topical theatre script melded together with unpolished dance, a striking soundscape, live graffiti and video art, What Lies Beneath manages to really get under your skin. It is a confrontational documentary performance about major wars and atrocities that don’t make the news, the netherworld between fact and fiction, and the power of our leaders and economy.

The physical language searches between the embodiment of colloquial powerful political actions juxtaposed with a quietly electric charged animal, breaking through the noise of information and stimulus.
The personal, the powerful, the weak, the fight and the surrender plays its part in the virtuosic search in communicative movement.

What Lies Beneath is a collaboration between a number of young and very talented performers, including Australian dancer Olympia Kotopoulos, versatile Glaswegian artist Robbie Thomson, graffiti artist Jelle Valk from the Groningen WERC collective, and actress Nadège Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso. British author and former BBC correspondent Lara Pawson wrote the script especially for this theatre project.

For What Lies Beneath, Veerle sought inspiration in the work of British documentary maker Adam Curtis and publications by renowned journalists, such as Robert Fisk and John Pilger. Theatre is tasked with the same responsibility as investigative journalism: revealing the hidden stories that otherwise would escape our attention.

Read the piece journalist Joost Ramaer wrote about the making of this piece. 

English and French spoken / English subtitles


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Director: Veerle van Overloop
Performers: Olympia Kotopoulos en Nadège Ouedraogo
Graffiti/video artist: Jelle Valk
Voice: Glen Kotopoulos
Sound design: Robbie Thomson
Animation: Joachim Rümke
Text: Lara Pawson 
Translation:  Les frères LeMoal
Dramaturgy text: Judith Blankenberg
Journalistic dramaturgy: Joost Ramaer
Camera and photography: Lex Vesseur
Lighting design: Wil Frikken
Technician: Wil Frikken & Merijn Boers
Sound: Niels van Dam
With big thanks to: Helga Richter, Douwe Ket and Le Hoai Linh
Publicity and marketing: Karlijn Vermeij
Business management: Frits Selie
Artistic advisor: Richard Gregory
Supported by: Grand Theatre, Gemeente Groningen, Station Noord, Beringer Hazewinkel