Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
In this Dutch drama, a former vaudevillian tries one last time to find the dignity of a legitimate role. Instead he finds himself faced with a past he tried hard to bury. It is base upon a 1982 novel by Harry Mulisch. Willem, a 78-year old man, comes from a long line of illustrious stage actors. But unlike them, he was never able to rise beyond the level of vaudeville performer. This has caused him tremendous pain. His break finally comes after he is offered the part of an aging classical actor who kills his male co-star/lover before he goes on to play Prospero in The Tempest. He takes the role, and the resulting heat from his castmates who change when he demonstrates real talent. He has major problems though. He butts heads with the director. He becomes confused when a younger actress makes untoward advances. Finally he has trouble playing a homosexual. The strain causes him to suffer disturbing flashbacks about his dysfunctional family life and his mother's death. The weight of the memories causes him to collapse during the final rehearsal.
abuse, actor, death, dysfunctional, family, homophobia, stars [celebrities], vaudeville