The Shakespeare is dead reading clubs are hosting a series of international online playtext reading events. Each month, until the festival starts in February 2022, we read a recently written text with theatre enthousiasts from around the world.

The third text we're reading is ‘The Wetsuitman’ by the Belgian playwright Freek Mariën. We will read the English translation of this play that was made by David McKay.

Freek Mariën (1988) is a writer and theatre maker. He graduated as a Master in Drama from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent and is the artistic director of Het Kwartier. He creates plays for young people and adults with a focus on a strong text, powerful content and a non-evident form or theme. His pieces show a great awareness of language and form; at the same time, there is a strong commitment to people and the world, and an ever-increasing engagement. For Mariën, form and content are inextricably linked. Moreover, the playwright has received several awards for his texts.

For ‘The Wetsuitman’ (2019), Freek Mariën starts from documentary material. The starting point is the discovery in 2015 on a Norwegian beach of a corpse in a diving suit. The police come, missing persons department. Nobody is able to find out who the corpse is. Until the police receive a telephone call from colleagues in the Netherlands. They too found a body in a wetsuit. Through the lens of a journalist, Mariën increasingly zooms in on the facts, until he ends up in the Jarmuk refugee camp near the Syrian capital Damascus. ‘The Wetsuitman’ is a kaleidoscopic piece that approaches the subject of ‘migration’ from various perspectives. Above all, it is a plea, for an audience of fourteen years and older, for empathy in a hardened society.

Shakespeare is dead reading club is organized in cooperation with De Leesclub, Schauspielhaus Graz, Staatstheater Saarbrücken, UniT/ DramaForum Graz, The Fence and Maison d'Europe et d'Orient.

Please be welcome! Join the Zoom Meeting here.

SID reading club #3