“Historic women’s stories sometimes reflect our world, too”

The Lam Club Theater Company, and from the left: Ella Chakin Satigen, Ella Kammerbek, and Marlos Eggilar.Renate Pence’s photo

At the theater school in Utrecht, Ella Chaiken-Sategen, Ella Kammerbeck and Marlos Eggilar discovered that the theater scene offers very few complex and interesting female roles. They also saw that there was still an enthusiastic dressing style based on how full and thin the actress was. IJpelaar (27): ‘When we watched each other’s graduation performance, we didn’t like the part the other had to play. I thought Ella was short selling herself, Ella thought I was short selling myself. Kammerbek (30): “At that time I thought: we can keep complaining, but we can also change something about it ourselves.”

After graduating, IJpelaar and Kamerbeek first focused on the 18th-century French queen Marie Antoinette, who Let them eat cake (2019) as a world-famous and influential pop star. Çekin Satijn (27) played Marie Antoinette several times and then joined the duo. That heralded the beginning of the group play Club L.M.

IJpelaar, group writer: ‘We often have a narrow view of historical women, when in fact there is always a whole story behind it. A story that sometimes mirrors our world, too: Marie Antoinette was actually a teen star à la Britney Spears. In our version of lolita (2021), a young woman who was abused as a child has a nude channel on the OnlyFans platform. With a wink we try to create a repertoire of diverse female characters. And this automatically means new roles for young actresses, which is an important task for us.

Club Lam plays a role

Club Lam plays “Rubens Girls”.Photo by Vivian Campuigssen

In the coming months, Club Lam will enter the world of the famous illustrator: in Robbins Girls They play the Three Graces, charming deities from Greek and Roman mythology, who meet in the studio. One of the three is a homeless artist who regrets not having a large audience and complains that people don’t want to buy a painting until you have a reality show. another has a sustainable home and a VanMoof bike; The vlogger has managed to gain name recognition.

All three models worry about the climate, the war in Ukraine, capitalism, and a fourth Goddess that is nowhere to be seen.

Cekin Satijn usually comes up with the concept of the piece, but this time it was Kamerbeek’s idea to make something about the full-bodied woman immortalized by the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Kammerbeck: “I thought for years I could identify with these women, until I went to look at the paintings again. They have beautiful bodies. You can see fat dimples and rolls here and there, but I always thought they were thicker. The starting point for this piece was: How has the concept of beauty changed over the centuries?


After agreeing on the topic and topics, a “research week” follows. Gecken Satigen: “Then we discuss the prejudices we have, how our generation views them and what Rubens’ images do to us personally. Marlowe extracts ideas from these conversations, relates them to facts, and then begins to write.

The fact that Club Lam is close to current events is evident from a scene in which one of the Graces furiously raises the idea of ​​throwing soup onto a plate, or sticking to it. Çiken Satigen: This was already in our article before climate activists did it. Real life has outgrown us.

Another goal of Club Lam is to merge the online and offline worlds. Just like in their previous performance lolita there Robbins Girls He puts a few large screens on stage, which the audience can watch on the phones of the characters, who make full use of Google and social media.

IJpel: ‘Robbins Girls It is also about getting attention and followers. I think we still do not have a clear understanding of the impact of the Internet and social media on our lives. We try to investigate it in a playful way.

Çekin Sategen: We live in two worlds these days, so it would be weird not to include that in theater. And it’s a nice challenge for us, because we also love to express ourselves in film.

The wonderful woman

The three aspiring theater-makers will take a few trips next year. Çekin Satijn, previously the short film Berry Made, she will write and direct her second film. IJpelaar will direct at the Toneelschuur in Haarlem and will play Kamerbeek in a play for the Dood Paard theater company. However, Club Lam remains their home base, as they want to end a laundry list of ideas about gorgeous women. They’re not alone in this: There are currently many female theater makers translating a multitude of women’s viewpoints into the theatre, such as writer Nina Speckers, theatrical collective and director Ellen Arbaugh.

Kammerbeck: I don’t think we’re in each other’s waters. We’re also glad that there are more women doing this work, because there’s just so much need for layered female roles.

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