‘You feed us. You dress us. You choose clothes for us. You bathe us. You lay down the law. You sing to us. You watch us sleep. You make us promises and sometimes hope we will not remember them. You tell us stories you hope will frighten us, but not too much. You try to tell us about the world. You explain to us what love is. You explain to us the meaning of war. You kiss us while we are asleep. You whisper when you think we can’t hear. You explain to us that night follows day.’
When invited by Victoria to make a play with children, Tim Etchells (writer and director with the renowned British company Forced Entertainment) made That Night Follows Day, a play with 16 children from 8 to 14 years old. It is the very first time Etchells has worked with a cast like this.
This play is the second in a series of Victoria productions involving children (but meant for an adult audience), the first being Josse De Pauw’s ÜBUNG (2001).
That Night Follows Day starts out from a script Etchells himself wrote, cataloguing the many ways children’s lives are defined by the adult world. It examines systems of parenthood, upbringing, discipline and care, with great clarity and humour.
As is often the case in his work, Etchells’ aim is to spotlight the expectations and problems of presentation itself. In That Night Follows Day this revolves – in a playful and provocative fashion – around the fact that adults are looking at and listening to children talking about the way adults project their world onto theirs.