‘A thrilling jam between drummer and juggler. … The power of their imagination causes the sad package system to fall apart at the seams.’
PAKMAN in De Morgen: 10 August 2016 I EVELYNE COUSSENS
Juggling and drumming in a lorry
Nobody is jealous of a person who delivers packages: racing around in his van, he braves endless traffic jams and irritated customers, and is never fast enough. The young company Post uit Hessdalen have created the music-theatre performance PAKMAN about this modern Sisyphus. The audience is invited into the back of a lorry, whose interior has been converted into the depressing depot of a parcels business. They witness relentlessly ticking clocks, a conveyor belt, and a single emotionless employee engaged in stamping (circus artist Stijn Grupping), who has been drilled to the rhythm of the production machine. A holiday brochure from the package company Jetair is the wildest dream in which this human robot can indulge. Or is it?
Something goes wrong in this pakman’s head when he spies a set of juggling balls and starts rhythmically bouncing them up against the walls of his claustrophobic workspace. To the drum roll that is thus created, a second package man unexpectedly joins in from the front part of the truck (jazz drummer Frederik Meulyzer). From that moment onwards, a thrilling jam session is created between the juggler and the drummer. Are the drums chasing the rhythm of the balls or is it the other way round? At the core of Post uit Hessdalen are the artist Stijn Grupping and the writer Ine Van Baelen. The power of their imagination causes the sad package system to start falling apart at the seams, until the plug is finally pulled. Thus this small, but carefully created and lovingly performed PAKMAN still manages to finish on a hopeful note.