The Whizzkid

London schools tour

November-December 2001

Suzanne van Lohuizen’s play is part of a very influential phenomenon in European theatre, the Dutch theatre for young people. Refusing to compromise or “dumb down” for younger audiences, the movement has created some of the most challenging and compelling work in this field, including Ad de Bont’s Mirad: A Boy From Bosnia and Pauline Mol’s Iphigenia.

Always concerned with representing the child’s perspective, often re-writing classics or interpreting world events from the point of view of the young person, these plays argue for a theatre capable of great beauty and poetry. The deliberate echoes of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in The Whizzkid connect it to a European theatre tradition but it is also an accessible, funny play for very young audiences. The surreal, a major feature of this play, is often far better understood instinctively by children than by adults.