The Lessons of Medea and La Falstaff. A Tribute to My Theatre Work

(Tom Lanoye) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 178-187

In the mid-nineties, when director Luk Perceval invited Lanoye to join him in embarking on the twelve-hour marathon production which Ten Oorlog (To War) was to become, the writer did not hesitate despite having previously only written a handful of plays and a couple of novels, stories, poems, et cetera. If he doubted a bit, it was because he found so few roles for women in the source material, which consisted of eight of Shakespeare’s history plays, beginning with Richard II and finishing with Richard III, a cycle often referred to as The Wars of the Roses. But there is much more to say about the fascination for theatre in the work of Lanoye: ‘Everything I know about theatre, everything appealing and fascinating about language, everything that has made me devoted to art, begins with my mother and the unintentional lessons she gave me, long before Medea and La Falstaff, without either of us realising at the time that they were lessons.’

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