November 2006-February 2007
Tour of the Netherlands and Belgium
Colonel Johns, Pugilist Specialist
" Either they love us, or they love to hate us. Either way, we’re spreading love"
The Dutch translation of Adriano Shaplin’s hit play Pugilist Specialist, about four highly-trained Marines on a mission to eliminate ‘Big Stache’ in an unspecified Middle Eastern country.
The play was presented in theatres and schools with a simple set of four chairs, a flag and a reel-to-reel tape machine. A satire on the motivations and objectives of the American military machine, the piece was presented at breakneck speed, with the text delivered like a hail of bullets. Words are used as weapons by the characters to force out a powerful position within the group and the search for a sacrificial victim becomes more important than the the target himself.
The acting company were trained by a drill sergeant and a Special Forces lieutenant from the Dutch Army, to create the right military ethic and way of thinking.
The action was played out in a tight military choreography within a space marked out as if a theatrical parade ground. It was Ben’s third production for Muztheater and marked a further step in the increasing politicisation of his work.