A woman returns with two friends to her parental home. The house is haunted by a tragic family event. None of the group knows what happened to the woman’s older sister. Her vengeful spirit, however, does make itself known to them. In a series of flashbacks, the past gradually re-emerges: the cruel parents, the crushed youth. The youngest sister is brutally confronted with the hidden past. The only way to survive is to face the terrible truth.
Jakop Ahlbom has been fascinated with horror films since a very young age. In his early teens he would consume any horror film he could get his hands on, gripped as we was by the absurd fantasies, the special effects, the extreme events, the dark unknown, and the adrenaline kick. Horror author Lovecraft wrote: ‘The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.’ This is the deeply hidden fear that Ahlbom brings to life in HORROR. How should you deal with a traumatic past? Should you face up to it so you can get on with your life? And how does the victim deal with a sense of guilt?
Making HORROR gave Ahlbom the opportunity to create a surreal world of horror using the kind of special effects rarely seen in theatre. The challenge he gave himself was to transfer cinematic horror effects into the theatre, to amaze the audience and make them shudder with fear at the seemingly impossible events unfolding before them. Ahlbom is also greatly intrigued by such aspects of the horror genre as black humour, slapstick and the fascinatingly, terrifyingly surreal imagery. Ahlbom has been using cinematic editing techniques in his stage work for a long time, but creating horror effects in the theatre was a unique challenge.
HORROR was nominated for the 2015 VSCD Mime Award and selected for the Dutch Theatre Festival, where it won the Wijk Jury Award.
From the Dutch Theater Festival jury report: “This homage to the horror genre is packed with special effects and suspense. Ahlbom takes the audience with him on a rollercoaster ride of sound and vision in a tragic family history. He uses acrobatics, illusions, mime and dance to create a thrilling and visually stunning Homeric spectacle.”
“A brilliantly conceived and performed piece that deserves to be widely seen […] Contains some genuinely jump-out-of-your-seat moments.” – ★★★★ Evening Standard
“skillfull choreography executed perfectly by Jakop Ahlbom Company’s sterling troupe of performers” – ★★★★ The Upcoming
Concept and Direction: Jakop Ahlbom
Dramaturge: Judith Wendel
Cast: Luc van Esch, Yannick Greweldinger, Judith Hazeleger/Andrea Beugger, Silke Hundertmark, Sofieke de Kater, Gwen Langenberg, Thomas van Ouwerkerk/Maurits van den Berg, Reinier Schimmel
Design: Jakop Ahlbom, Douwe Hibma, Remco Gianotten (asst)
Sound design: Wim Conradi, Bauke Moerman
Light design: Yuri Schreuders
Costume design: Esmée Thomassen, Kyra Wessel (asst)
Make-up and hair design: Nienke Algra
Production and tour management: Sarah Faye van der Ploeg
Management and sales: Marc Pil