When actress Karen Sibbing (1979) witnessed the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on her grandmother, she was moved by the tragedy but also by the absurdity and humour of human experiences when memories, history and identity begin to blur. She decided to make this the theme of the first show of her own, working with the Australian director Samara Hersch. ODE is an intimate play about the physical, mental and emotional journey of a woman who loses herself. A deserved ode to the imagination and the powerful place it has in our life as a place of illusion, fantasy and refuge.

Karen Sibbing: “We don’t see it as a sad story about a woman who loses herself, but rather as an ode to the imagination. Even if you have lost your memory, that doesn’t need to be restrictive, for it can open up numerous other realities – sad, absurd, tragic and blundering. You might compare it to Alice in Wonderland: when she jumps down the hole, she can only go one way, but that takes her to unsuspected places and provides a whole host of exciting experiences. That’s more or less what we try to get across in ODE.”

director Samara Hersch | concept and acting Karen Sibbing | sound design and composition Joost van Dijk | technical aspects and lighting design Lida Bos | production [prod]nu (NL) | coproduction De NWE Vorst (NL), Het Zuidelijk Toneel (NL), Villanella and l’Avventura (NL) | with the cooperation of Het Boekenschop Tilburg (NL)