First Weekend of the DELFT FRINGE FESTIVAL – Janna Handgraaf and LucyOnes

False Falls by LucyONES

It was good to see the children hadn’t been forgotten in the Festival. I was at one of the other hidden away locations, the old cigar factory on the Brabantse Turfmarkt on Saturday to see Janna Handgraaf’s Oma Solo. Billed as suitable for all ages, the audience that afternoon was predominantly children who, although initially a bit bewildered, really enjoyed themselves.

We were greeted at the top of the stairs at this terrific venue by a quite scary and sinister, black-suited bouncer wearing dark glasses. The fifteen minute show was simple but effective. In the corner of the room was a small, pink tent from which slowly emerged a thick-stockinged leg wearing a sensible shoe, a folding chair, a sun shade, a table lamp and finally a very old lady in a flowered dress with a rucksack on her back. This was almost a puppet show because the over-sized head of the old lady was crudely carved out of polystyrene and the hair was of white cotton wool. I say crudely not in a pejorative way – it was nicely done and very effective.

The old lady began to sort herself out with the help of some young volunteers from the audience. She plugged in the lamp, put up the folding chair and got out her thermos flask. Not a word was spoken but in the end it all became clear. To tell you what happened next would be a spoiler . . . .

Next it was across town to one of the upstairs rooms at the Prinsenkwartier to see False Falls by LucyONES. As we entered the darkened room we could just make out the two performers, dressed in white, lying on a white plastic sheet arranged diagonally across the stage as the hypnotic soundscape pounded out its mesmerising beat.

In the far corner a small spot of twitching light was projected, slowly growing until it dominated the space like a writhing, animated Escher drawing or a pulsating heart made of Lego. The bigger the shape, the more active the dancers became, first arching their backs and then rising to move in time to the music. As the sounds faded the two dancers slowly left the room. Excellent and what performance art really should be.

Events on Sunday were restricted to just the afternoon but with, nevertheless, the usual rich and varied programme, including some eccentric locations such as Delft’s one and only windmill, the Molen de Roos. Those who were willing and able to climb some pretty precarious, almost vertical, stairs were rewarded by performances by Eva Nagel and the opera-based comedy duo, How to be a Prima Donna with poster girl Sanne Vleugels who we saw doing a different set on the opening night.  Michael Hasted/Astrid Burchardt   2nd June 2019

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