European Citizen Popsong (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

European Citizen Popsong

Bart Grietens

Marieke Dermul's search for a song that the whole of Europe can get behind

Why can't we all just get along? Perhaps music holds the answer to the world's problems. Belgium's Marieke Dermul clearly knows her Bobbysocks! from her 'Diggi-loo Diggi-ley'; she's a Eurovision fan who has been working, before and after the UK's Brexit vote, to bring us all together. To this end, she's been working on an inclusive European anthem she hopes to perform at the event, rather than outside the contest for the security guards, as she did in Kiev last year.

Dernul's show establishes that she's hoping to finish her song, and her interactive show requires audience participation. The audience are invited to play the roles of various social groups, and also of four individuals that Dermul encountered on her quest. These individuals were interviewed and recorded on video; what Dermul wants is for the audience participants to join her for the climactic rendition of her song.

Dermul wants the lyrics of the song to bring Europe together, and seeks a wide source of input to make her dream a reality. There's surprisingly little political discussion or content, in terms of the contest itself or the ongoing issues with economics or migration; instead, there's a rather vague trading of homilies about being in this together. For once, this is a show that doesn't go on long enough or into enough detail; Dermul is clearly obsessed, but her obsession should have turned over more information than this.

An individual can change the world, and Marieke Dermul might just be the person to pull it off. She's direct, forceful and rather endearing in the way she elicits audience participation. But the results are scattershot for now; a lightweight piece of froth, at least European Citizen Popsong offers and requires, as Eurovision winner Nicole sang, 'a little patience, and understanding, for our tomorrow, a little peace.'

Until Aug 26 (not 13, 20), Summerhall, Red Lecture Hall, 6pm, £10 (£8 cons).

European Citizen Popsong

  • 3 stars

Marieke Dermul, DeBrakkeGrond, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan, TRP, Summerhall Music’s power has erased boundaries before, but can it make us feel connected as citizens, even after the Brexit? Last year, theatre maker Marieke Dermul researched if such a thing as a European identity or a common European sense exists. With…