Two trumpet girls on a swing telling stories

'Triple trooper Trevor trumpet girl'

I love minimalism, but sometimes I do wonder: is nothing really enough? Take Triple trooper Trevor trumpet Girl, a new theatre performance by Tine Van Aerschot, Carly Wijs and Tracy Wright. It premiered at Brussels’ Kaaitheater, last week. Two actresses, sitting on a swing, reading out extracts from a diary. Perfectly wonderful, but…

They walk on stage, put on the spotlights and sit down on chairs that look like fixed swings. Then they start talking, in English. Dutch actress Carly Wijs starts a sentence, Canadian actress Tracy Wright finishes it. Wijs says one word, Wright comes up with the next. Fluently. They laugh, we laugh. Yes: both actresses are reading from the same diary. Wijs and Wright decide almost on the spot who’s going to take which line and which anecdote.

It sure is a joy to listen to Wijs and Wright. They are completely relaxed and tell you all the stories of this Trevor Wells-character in a really natural way. It’s on the life of this fictitious Wells that Van Aerschot has based her performance. In 2006 she wrote I have no thoughts, and this is one of them for the Forced Entertainment actress Claire Marshall. Don’t expect philosophical musings or emotional effusions. What you get are simple newspaper stories and everyday fantasies, from somebody who seems to never leave his room. You hear about the history of the potato and about Wells having a cold. Upon leaving the theatre you even get a tissue.

There’s nothing wrong with all of his. And as I said: I’ve nothing against this sort of minimalism. But afterwards I couldn’t help thinking that I would have liked to have gotten something more from this performance. An unexpected turn, a shift in tone, a next layer. When one’s being too humble or unobtrusive, one tends to go by unnoticed.

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