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Georgina Verbaan plays leading role in 24-hour theatrical marathon The Second Woman

Georgina Verbaan plays leading role in 24-hour theatrical marathon The Second Woman

March 12, 2024

Georgina Verbaan plays leading role in 24-hour theatrical marathon The Second Woman
One woman, one role, a hundred men.    

For 24 hours from 28 to 29 June at the Holland Festival, Georgina Verbaan will play the leading role in Nat Randall and Anna Breckon’s The Second Woman, making for a unique, hallucinatory filmic theatre experience. In this theatre marathon at ITA, which is simultaneously live-screened at Koninklijk Theater Tuschinski, Verbaan will play the same break-up scene with a hundred different counterparts unknown to her. This approximately ten-minute scene is not rehearsed. Neither Georgina nor the audience knows exactly how the scene will play out on stage.  

Two-time Golden Calf winner Verbaan has played in over 100 television series and films from the Netherlands, with leading roles in series like 't Schaep met de 5 pooten, Maud & Babs and KLEM. She has played in many films, including De Surprise, De Marathon and Buiten is het Feest, and has nearly 20 years of theatre experience as well, with productions like Venus by Johan Doesburg and Oogverblindend by Cyrus Frisch.  

Holland Festival director Emily Ansenk:    
'We are overjoyed that Georgina Verbaan is willing to play this challenging role. She will be able to make full use of her sense of humour, timing and versatility as an actress in this theatrical marathon. It takes a lot of courage to get on stage and act with unknown counterparts this long and this intensely. The duration and nature of this performance pushes the limits of what theatre and acting can be. In this respect, it fits seamlessly with a festival that, with Christiane Jatahy as associate artist, questions what theatre and film are, how they influence each other and the nature of perception itself.'  

The scene  
The Second Woman 
is about a woman, Virginia, and a man, Marty, whose relationship has lost all creativity, romance and vitality. When the man appears on stage, Georgina Verbaan knows just as little about him as the audience does. The intense and intimate exchange between her and her counterpart results in a choice: ‘I love you’ or ‘I never loved you.’ The man leaves, the scene ends, and Georgina/Virginia has to clean up the mess. Slowly, as in a ritual, the scene is built up again, ready to start again from the top. By repeating the scene a hundred times, the variations and subtleties of character and performance are amplified, and it becomes clear what the chemistry between the characters as well as the actors is.  

The set design and live images were inspired by American independent cinema from the 1970s and by melodramas, a genre that portrays women in stereotypical ways. The set consists of a glass box filmed by camerawomen and projected onto a large screen. At the makers’ request, The Second Woman has a crew of women and non-binary people both in front and behind the scenes.  

The makers 
Nat Randall is an artist who works at the intersection of performance, video and film, and she is this project’s co-author and co-director. She has played The Second Woman herself multiple times. Anna Breckon is is the other co-author and co-director as well as the video director. She is an independent artist and film scholar. Both are based in Australia. They have performed this work previously in Australia, Taiwan, New York, London and Toronto.  

Nat Randall and Anna Breckon on The Second Woman: 'It started as a small, self-funded project. It was a high-risk undertaking, because while we could test working with numerous participants, there is no way of rehearsing a 24-hour production that relies on both audience and participants. The Second Woman exists only at the moment of its presentation. It emerges each time by bringing together uncertain elements that may be curated and managed, but never fully controlled. This makes the show vulnerable, but also dynamic, alive and full of possibilities.' 

Options for the audience  
The Second Woman can be seen on the stage at ITA and simultaneously, for the first time in the history of this project, on a large screen in room 1 of the Tuschinski cinema. The audience at ITA, which comes and goes constantly, is encouraged to change seats in between scenes in order to see the couple from different perspectives. Every two hours, there will be a fifteen-minute break for both Georgina Verbaan and the audience. Theatregoers can choose between the excitement of live attendance at ITA or the comfort of no queuing at Tuschinki.    

Ticket sales   
Different types of tickets are available for both locations, each with their own conditions. For ITA it is possible to buy a ticket for the full 24 hours, a priority ticket for a specific timeslot, or to drop by at any time and join the general queue. For the live screening at Tuschinki there are 24-hour passe-partouts as well as tickets for 8-hour timeslots. 

A sign language interpreter will be present on Friday 28 June from 16:00 - 18:00; 22:00 - 00:00 and on Saturday 29 June from 10:00 - 12:00. English surtitles are available on Friday 28 June from 18:00 - 20:00 and on Saturday 29 June from 00:00 - 2:00 and 12:00 - 14:00.  

The Second Woman
Anna Breckon & Nat Randall, Georgina Verbaan
28-29 June, ITA (en live screening in Pathé Tuschinsky)
more info & tickets ITA
more info & tickets Pathé Tuschinsky