A mother who manages a trucker bar, her delicate daughter, and a young lost soul of a truck driver: such are the three characters of Truckstop, who all seem to be struggling to escape a world of mud. The work of Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans, Truckstop is an intimate and claustrophobic play, as well as desperately relevant. The consequences of globalisation, the worries caused by our capitalist system, the dehumanising effect of work are all part of the subtext. Stuck in their lives as much as in their heads, the protagonists reveal themselves little by little, piece by piece. For if Truckstop is the hyperrealist crossroads of the free market, this anonymous and unattractive zone that nonetheless inspires powerful fantasies, it is also a place where it is hard to be heard, to exist in a “continuous” state. With no clear timeline and no literal sense to be found, the play is a puzzle that, through both form and content, holds both characters and audience in its thrall, but it is also a police procedural that Arnaud Meunier has chosen to tell as a tragedy in reverse. Just like the youth to which he wants to speak, every character is lost within his or her own quest for an ideal. “I like the gap that exists between what we're hoping for and what actually happens. This great riddle of adolescence, torn between one's expectations and anxieties at what one will become.”
Lot Vekemans studied social geography at the University of Utrecht, before attending the writing school 't Colofon, in Amsterdam. Since 1997, she has written plays for both children and adults. In 2005, she received the Van derVies award (awarded every three years to the best play written in that time period) for Truckstop and Zus Van (Sister Of). Both plays were published in French by Éditions espaces 34, under the titles Truckstop and Soeur de. In 2010, Gif (Poison) was awarded the Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs in the Netherlands, before being translated into French. Arnaud Meunier talks about his encounter with the Dutch playwright, whose texts feel realer than real, as self-evident.
Text Lot Vekemans
Translation Monique Nagielkopf
Direction Arnaud Meunier
Artistic collaboration Elsa Imbert
Lights and stage design Nicolas Marie
Music Patrick De Oliveira
Costumes Ouria Dahmani Khouhli
Assistant director Parelle Gervasoni
With Claire Aveline, Maurin Ollès, Manon Raffaelli
Production La Comédie de Saint-Étienne Centre dramatique national, La Comédie de Béthune Centre dramatique national Nord - Pas-de-Calais - Picardie
With the support of École de la Comédie de Saint-Étienne - DIESE # Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and the CCAS, Activités Sociales de l'Énergie
Truckstop by Lot Vekemans, translation Monique Nagielkopl, is published by éditions Espaces 34, with the support of Centre national du livre, of the Theater Instituut Nederland (TIN) and the Maison Antoine Vitez, Centre international de la traduction théâtrale.
Truckstop is subject to a Pièce (dé)montée, pedagogical file created by Canopé.