The ending of De keizer van het verlies, when Dirk Roofthooft remarks that there are wings growing from his shoulders, is also a reference to the second part of the monologue, De koning van het plagiaat, which was also interpreted by Roofthooft. This time a nervous and timid angel takes the stage, dressed in a surgeon’s scrubs. He is in a laboratory, surrounded by jars filled with something that resembles petrified brains. Much like the emperor examines the heart, the king examines the brains.
His perfection as an angel bores him and he longs for the irrational properties of man. In this monologue Fabre develops the notion that copying and repetition are necessary conditions for evolution and he minimises the importance of originality and authenticity in science, the arts and philosophy. The boundary between theft and plagiarism fades in this way. This theme, among others, is reflected in the symbolism of a series of fake watches and the imitation of a monkey (‘na-apen’ is the Dutch word for to imitate, which literally means monkey see, monkey do). The angel reveals himself to be an actor whose speech is full of one-liners borrowed from Shakespeare and from songs by Elvis and The Beatles. The second monologue by Fabre for Roofthooft reveals itself as an existential speech on unicity, as an angel and as a man.
text, scenography, direction Jan Fabre
performer Dirk Roofthooft dramaturgy Miet Martens assistance Coraline Lamaison
light design Harry Cole, Jan Fabre costume Ingrid Vanhove assistance set design Mieke Windey
producers diptych 2005 Troubleyn/Jan Fabre in co-production with Avignon Festival (France), deSingel (Antwerp, Belgium), Bonlieu Scène nationale (Annecy France), Espace Malraux (Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie, France), Comédie de Valence (Centre dramatique national Drôme Ardèche, France) and with the support of La Région Rhône-Alpes.
première 25.07.2005, Théâtre Municipal, Festival d'Avignon, Avignon