One man, one theatre. Jaap den Hertog is behind the probably most peculiar element during Markedet for Scenekunst [Market for Performing Arts, trans.].
- A bomb could explode straight behind the audience, and they wouldn't even notice, Jaap den Hertog amuses.
The Norwegian-Dutchman is the man of the peepshow box theatre during Markedet for Scenekunst, which fills Hjertnes these days.
He has a richly decorated theatre with him, probably Northern Europe's smallest, which usually awakens curiosity and excitement. Built on a trolley, two metres wide and nearly three metres tall. Four peepshow holes are the only entry points into the world of the puppet theatre. Because it is inside the peepshow box that the 7-minute long stories are created with two-dimensional figures in a three-dimensional space.
den Hertog operates the whole caboodle on his own. He pulls piano wires and curtain cords, talks, shouts and makes sound effects.
This microcosm on wheels is inspired by a book about a Syrian theatre artist, and was created during the lead-up to Trondheim's millennium celebrations in 1997.
- Everybody was working with pompous, huge things. Two metre tall priest figures, large Viking ships... I realised that I had to put all this megalomania in perspective. And then it actually became a success, he says.
We are not talking about a model for making lots of cash. Nevertheless, he has been hired for a number of festivals and events in Norway and abroad.
- I can actually serve up to 130 audience members during a 5-hour session. As long as I don't get placed right next to a group of panpipe players, he laughs, referring to a festival he once visited.
The whole thing is more of a hobby, really. As a general practitioner, there is barely enough time left over. He also had the opportunity to stay in Sandefjord for only one day.
- Actually it is impossible to combine the two jobs. Both demand full concentration. But can bumble bees fly? Yes, of course they can! They just don't know about it themselves.