Don't lose too much weight. We need your body on stage!
by Gesa Ziemer

With the production Le Jardin, which was invited by the Theatre Gessnerallee in the summer of 2003 in Zurich, the Belgian Peeping Tom Collective, constituted by Gabriela Carrizo, Franck Chartier and Simon Versnel, has reached the secret tip status.

In Zurich, Vienna and other places this production has caused an inspiring disturbance. Besides the virtuoso dance quality of Franck Chartier and Gabriela Carrizo, who had worked for some years with Alain Platel, above all two other bodies were noticeable : The 57 year old ex-Needcompany actor Simon Versnel and the small shaped lady journalist Rika Esser
[height 82 cm].



A Story of Loss

The production Le Jardin consist of a 35 minute film which setting is located in a Black Brussels Nightclub [Le Numero Uno]. In this nightclub humans and animals meet with the most diverse identities. Bodies, ethnical citizens and sexual desires are represented in evocative dreamlike bar talks, gestures and musical performances. Rika Esser who never completed a performing arts training supplies a breath robbing singing-solo, in which she dances, sings with white angel wings on, while she stands upon the lying Franck Chartier and shows the erotic strength of her body. After completion of the film the canvas goes up and on the stage stands, among other things, Simon Versnel as an older gentleman with belly and white hair, his body, up to a fig sheet, naked. In an artful prepared suburb garden he tells, in the same way as in other earlier productions, a story of loss. The loss of his well trained body, the loss of wealth, love and memories. The abnormality of the normal is transferred from the nightclub into the garden and produced multilayered.



Impressive body

Simon Versnel is trained as a social worker and worked for more than 20 years in this profession in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Beside he took singing-lessons with, what he calls His Musical Mother, Dini Erkens. At the age of 46 he was discovered in 1993 by Jan Lauwers and Grace Ellen Barky of Needcompany. They engaged him as a not professionally trained Dancer, Singer and Actor, as a personality with an impressive body. Eight very successful years followed in which he worked and toured internationally with the group until The Peeping Tom Collective asked him to be part of the film Le Jardin. In the meantime Versnel is a firm component in a young group. Due to a recently diagnosed diabetes he lost 12 kilos in the last months. The Peeping Tom Collective: Donít lose too much weight. We need your body on stage!

Gesa Ziemer | Asthetik der Verletzbarkeit [PDF] | Waragem 2003 

Related Links:  Peeping Tom | GessnerAllee | Needcompany |
Media files | Pictures | Background Information |