You can never guess who gets in
It is very difficult to talk about children as a certain group of people. They are very very different. Even children six years old is not a group, they are very very different. And that’s the same when you talk about adults, you would never say that ‘this is the same group of adults that understands an experience in the same way’. And I think that when you talk about children it is like they are one group of certain people, and I think they are not.
So I think the way of talking to and with your audience is to start by realising you never know who they are, you can never guess who gets in, so you have to find a way of talking to the people who enter. So for me it’s very important that when I tell stories and I do performances that you have the space where you can really watch and see and understand ‘where are we now, who is there, who am I, who are you?’ And I hate when I leave the theatre, and the audience leave, and I understand I don’t know what happened. We never meet.
They watch me and I watch them: it’s very important.
- Bodil Alling, ‘the queen of Dutch children’s theatre’
speaking to ArtWorks