Lost (2004)


A man balances at the edge of his existence. He withdrew many years ago from painful memories of his youth. The man feels abandoned and cut off from the world. His life passes before his eyes: his family history, the woman he loves, the confusion in his mind, and the fearful visions that haunt him. He can take the pain no longer and lets himself fall. He falls into the depths of his own past to relieve the pain and to fall asleep on the pavement, 40 metres below him. The audience see the images that flash before his eyes as he falls.



In a world caught between life and death, we see unfurling a poetic collage of memories, fears and desires, lovers and family, all of them related in some way to his decision to let go of life. Lost is about the mystery of a suicide and the role of those around him when he lets go and falls. Ahlbom immersed himself in the desperate sense of being beset with adversity in a life from which there seems to be no escape. He watched documentaries about people who had attempted suicide, and he was touched by the words, “Suicide is not a ticket to paradise, it is a way out of hell.” He wondered what the furthest limits are to the setbacks that a human being can tolerate. The painful question that fascinated him was this: What if, in those final few seconds as your life passes in front of you, you were to discover something worth living for, something of strength and beauty? It would be too late, because you’d have already jumped.


Ahlbom worked with live musicians for this play. He believes live music underscores emotional effect and boosts the play’s impact. He went in search of a style of music that would complement his ideas on staging and movement. When he came across the Amsterdam-Friesian rock band Solbakken he knew he’d found just the tone he needed. They are the motor that propels the scenes forward with a sensitive pulse. The music became an essential component of the play. Having the band’s full line-up onstage gives them an autonomous power that adds to the play’s uniqueness.
Ahlbom dedicated Lost to his deceased brother. It can be seen as the closing piece in a triptych (together with Nur Zur Erinnerung and Stella Maris). The central theme of all three plays is mental disorder, and they each explore the psyche of one man.

In the media

“It’s impressive that a melancholy rock guitar solo (from Solbakken) can be the beating heart of the play.”
de Volkskrant
“The music, in any case, is great, in this ‘dansant’ physical drama by Jakop Ahlbom. … Once again, Ahlbom shows that he’s speaking a unique language.”
Vrij Nederland
“Lost is a dazzling piece that plays a subtle game with movement, music, film and lighting. Sometimes it’s almost cartoonlike, and the finale is outright slapstick.”
Algemeen Dagblad
Read articles


Concept and Direction: Jakop Ahlbom

Text: Emanuel Muris
 Dramaturge and Adviser: Mischa van Dullemen Cast: Carola Bärtschiger, Valentina Campora, Luc van Esch, Silke Hundertmark, Péter Kádár, Matthias Maat, Anja Sielaf/Irene van Geest, Roel Voorbij
 Live music: Solbakken (Jelle Buma, Empee Holwerda, Klaas Schippers)
 Stage design: Daniël Ament
 Costumes: Susann Rittermann
 Lighting designer and Technician: Vinny Jones

Photography and Video images: Oliver Helf
Production manager: Florian Hellwig/Het Veem Theater
Producers: Het Veem Theater and Pels

Made possible by financial support from: VSB Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds, Fonds Amateurskunst Podiumkunsten

Performance dates

No current performances

Premiere: 8 April 2004, Het Veem Theater, Amsterdam

Performance period: 6 April to 29 May 2004