reviewed by Paula Citron
That Night Follows Day
Harbourfront World Stage
Written and directed by Tim Etchells
Starring the 16-Member Children’s Ensemble
At the Fleck Dance Theatre
At Harbourfront’s World Stage last week, the adventurous Belgium theatre company Campo brought director/writer Tim Etchell’s remarkable That Night Follows Day – a play acted by children for an adult audience in Dutch with English surtitles.
Etchells is a member of the renown Sheffield-based experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment. He was hired by the Ghent-based company to create the show for sixteen children aged 8 to 14. The set was a gymnasium, and the format was the children lecturing the audience, in group declamation or as solos.
The thrust of Etchells’ text was how adults shape the lives of children. The text started off simply – “You wash us”, “You sing us lullabies” etc., but as the play progressed, the children became accusatory – “You hide things” – or pointing out the hypocritical positions adults take, making one set of rules for the children and breaking them themselves.
That Night Follows Day was a very disturbing exposé of adult-child relationships.