by and with Bart Hollanders, Joé Agemans, Marie Vinck, Stef Aerts, Matteo Simoni, Thomas Verstraeten and Geert Goossens (extra)
light design FC Bergman, Ken Hioco
sound design Diederik De Cock, FC Bergman
technical crew Diederik Hoppenbrouwers, Diederik Suykens, Steven Bontinck, Victor Dries, Friedemann Koch, Dominick Geentjens, Monique Van Hassel, Celine van der Poel
with the support of City of Antwerp
thanks to AGFA Graphics, PRG Belgium, Koninklijk Museum Voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, Philippo Belgium
length 1h 20′
Jesus’ blood never failed me yet. This one thing I know, for He loves me so.
Unknown homeless, London 1971
FC Bergman drew inspiration from the majestic Rubens’ Gallery at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp to tell a gripping story about this museum gallery, its works, and above all the people who seek solace and shelter in the museum. Following a series of performances in Belgium and the Netherlands, Het land Nod has been invited to the Festival d’Avignon (FR), the Zürcher Theater Spektakel (CH), Paris (FR), Sevilla (ES) and Quimper (FR).
«The FC Bergman theatre-makers and actors set themselves the challenge of telling stories without words, and they succeeded masterfully, thanks to ingenious images. The right energy, acrobatics and stillness make for a hilarious and melancholy show. With a mix of poetry, slapstick, cinematic images and their typical anarchistic theatre language, they take the spectators with them in a succession of stories of varying lengths»
Lotte Philipsen, Focus Knack, 5 May 2015
«In this set, in the bare light of eternity, human figures are too small for the task for which life conceived them. This is particularly well illustrated by Stef Aerts, who plays a museum employee in grey overalls with a degenerating sense of duty. His folding measuring stick proves too short for the measurements of history. His sledgehammer is too heavy, his ladder too unsteady to cope with the walls of his existence. (…) In this atmospheric, scriptless production, FC Bergman measures up to the greats: the mystical naturalism of Romeo Castellucci, the disconsolate absurdism of Christoph Marthaler, and the dancing dynamics of Pina Bausch. And all that gives Het land Nod visual grandeur».
Wouter Hillaert, De Standaard, 9 May 2015
«In Het land Nod the small naked human being seeks the protection of the huge walls of the museum. This produces some fascinating images, which make even a less stratified FC Bergman show an impressive experience».
Evelyne Coussens, De Morgen ****, 11 May 2015
«Like the French film directors in the 1960s, the FC Bergman theatre-makers are triggering a new wave on the theatre scene. Parallels include their youthful enthusiasm and innovative language».
Lotte Philipsen, Focus Knack, 5 May 2015
FC Bergman was founded in 2008 by six actors / theatre-makers / artists: Stef Aerts, Joé Agemans, Bart Hollanders, Matteo Simoni, Thomas Verstraeten and Marie Vinck. FC Bergman has been a permanent Toneelhuis theatre-maker since 2013. In a short time, this group of makers has developed a highly unique theatrical idiom, which apart from being anarchistic and slightly chaotic, is essentially visual and poetic. Their productions often give centre stage to the floundering, ever-striving human. The most recent and impressive production in that series, JR, literally and figuratively takes this theme to the next level. Simoni and Hollanders have since left the core team and now work on an adhoc basis with FC Bergman.
In 2009 FC Bergman won the Young Theatre Prize at Theater Aan Zee with its adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. With Walking along the Champs-Elysées with a tortoise so as to have a better look at the world, but it is difficult to drink tea on an ice floe if everyone is drunk FC Bergman was short-listed for the Dutch Theatre Festival (2010). In 2011 FC Bergman created 300 el x 50 el x 30 el at Toneelhuis, a production still on the repertoire. Terminator Trilogy, created in 2012, was again a site specific work that toured internationally. Back in Toneelhuis (where FC Bergman is a collective in residence) they created an impressive music theatre project, Van den vos (December 2013), together with Liesa van der Aa, Muziektheater Transparant and Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop (DE). In 2015 FC Bergman made a site-specific show Het land Nod (The Land Of Nod): «In this atmospheric, scriptless production FC Bergman measures up to the greats: the mystical naturalism of Romeo Castellucci, the disconsolate absurdism of Christoph Marthaler, and the dancing dynamics of Pina Bausch. And all that gives Het land Nod visual grandeur» said Wouter Hillaert in De Standaard ***, May 9th 2015. The show was invited to participate in 2016 in the Festival of Avignon (FR) and the Zürcher Theater Spektakel (CH). Het Land Nod remains on the repertoire (and after Spain, France and Poland) is now also going to Russia and Italy.
In March 2018, FC Bergman completed JR. This site-specific project based on the eponymous cult novel by William Gaddis has since been acclaimed as the major theatre event of 2018. Through an ingenious interweaving of film and theatre, powerful acting with strong dialogues and astounding scenography, FC Bergman has taken his work to another level. At the same time, the company has remained true to itself, in the course of the show painting a picture of a world in which man fights against the windmills of his existence in vain. The show has meanwhile met with success in Paris and in the 2019-2020 season it can be admired in Brussels. Plans for Hong Kong and New York are also taking shape…
In the 2019-2020 season, FC Bergman is collaborating on Freud, a production by ITA: FC Bergan is making an adaptation of Sartre’s original script. What’s more, Stef Aerts, Marie Vinck, Matteo Simoni are playing the roles of a number of characters in Freud, including the lead role, performed by Stef Aerts.
The members of FC Bergman are individually involved in various other theatre productions, TV projects and films or make productions, installations and videos under their own name.