REVIEW

Everly Theatre Play !

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TOURDATA 2007

20 september : CC Aarschot
16 november : theatrium Mechelen
22,23,24,25(optie) : Fakkelteater Antwerpen
11 december: CC Lier

Tickets zijn te bestellen via de reservatielijnen van de speelzalen


The most famous brothers of pop history.....
Brothers but not friends.....
Doomed to stay together as a result of their gigantic successes
'Brothers', a theatrical play filled with music, nostalgia and humor

Currently wowing Belgian theatre audiences, writer Martin King's first venture into theatre is a huge hit.
'Brothers' is a guaranteed great night out.  Laughter, tears and unforgettable
'Everly Brothers' hits get you rocking in the aisles and rolling your seats. The incredibly talented Erik Goosens and Peter Thyssen team up to give  you a theatrical experience that you'll be talking about for years to come. They sing, shout, argue, fight, clown around, and capture the essence of what it really means to be a real Everly brother. This IS entertainment in its purest form.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY EBI: 
THE THEATRICAL PLAY 'BROERS' ('BROTHERS')

The theatrical play 'Brothers' (Broers), written by long-time Everly fan Martin King, and produced by Pilot Productions, was staged in Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium in November and December. As you must have guessed this play is about the lives of Don and Phil.  We went to see the try-outs of the piece, and talked to the artists, producer and playwright.

If you were not able to see the show we can assure you, you missed out on a great experience.....for now. There will be a series of shows in Belgium early next year, even closer to the Dutch border and most probably also in the Netherlands. Who knows even in the UK!?

'Brothers' digs back into the lives of the infamous 'Everly Brothers'. A humoristic, but honest story about the ten stormiest years of the most famous brother act in pop and rock music : Phil and Don Everly. Let yourself be carried through beautiful world hits such as 'Bye, Bye Love', 'Cathy's Clown', 'Crying In The Rain', 'Wake Up Little Susie', and many others.

Find out why they split, but in the end also get together again. They can't be with or without each other.....doomed to be together. Peter Thyssen and Erik Goossens crawl into the skin of Don and Phil Everly and thus this story full of harmony and irony becomes a witty and revealing play with lots of music.

A night filled with pure nostalgia, humor and entertainment !


'A play based on the lives of Don and Phil Everly', as Martin King puts it. It starts at Knott's Berry Farm and ends at the Royal Albert Hall.
The play was written in English and translated into Flemish by a friend for the Belgian audience. Playwright Martin King is first and foremost a huge fan of the Everly Brothers and that was his initial inspiration for this piece. He wanted this to be as factual as possible and sent us several emails to get the scenes and wording correct. The conclusion of the play is based on the reunion at the Albert Hall.

The actors had not even seen the script before they started this project. Martin is a writer who is looking for interaction, chemistry, friction for these parts to work to the extent that the piece requires.  'At the first script meeting Peter and Erik sounded really good together', says King, 'almost as good as the real brothers but not quite'. 'I should point out though that 'Brothers' is a comedy piece that uses elements of the Everly's lives as a backdrop. I didn't want to do a true-to-life theatrical piece because it would have been nigh on impossible to recreate the personas in their entirety. 

It's entertainment, pure and simple entertainment, that doesn't seek to educate or assimilate. Either way, being a huge fan of the Everly's myself, I don't want to cause any unintended offence. It is definitely a tribute to them and their music though even if it is a pastiche rather than a biography. Everly purists may frown but the real admirers of their music and characters will enjoy the piece in its entirety and on its own merits. Comedy and tragedy are very closely related like love and hate - you can't get a cigarette paper between them and that's what 'Brothers' embodies for me personally, a view on inter-family relationships in the glaring, merciless spotlight of media attention'. 

'Rehearsals started early and went well from the start. Erik and Peter worked very hard and made good progress. Martin wanted them to sound as close as possible to the Everly's without attempting to carbon copy them. At one point when discussing the play at lunch time one of the actors suggested actually contacting the Everly's and seeking their approval. Martin knew that they did not actually need permission but as a life long fan of the brothers he wanted them to be happy about this project. He has been meticulous in getting the right details for this but ultimately liked one or both of them to look over the script. Naturally if there's anything at all in there that they're not too happy about then it can still be changed.

King says, 'it would be great to have their blessing though'. 'I've given the info to reach each of the brothers individually and am likewise hoping that the team will hear from them. 

Before the try-outs in November and December Hanne Gers of Pilot Productions came to join EBI's Party at Utrecht with Peter Thyssen and Erik Goossens to promote the play and have a sniff of Everly fanaticism. Peter and Erik made us, the fans, familiar with some of the dialogue and dealings between the brothers that you can expect at the show and tested their versions of 'Wake Up Little Susie' and 'Be Bop A Lula' in front of the most critical Everly crowd you can imagine.


Fred van Vught joined 'Broers' in Antwerpen and Brussels 

At a point when it was still a matter of testing the water, finding out what the actors can do etc., Hanne asked us if we knew a good singer and guitar player, really into this type of music'.  Our choice was easy of course and I am glad Fred van Vugt of Harmony Trail fame has meanwhile become a very dynamic power behind the songs in the piece. He was still in pain after a week in hospital with a collapsed chest and I can imagine he did not do the shows pain free after three long days of rehearsals at the very last moment. Fred's surely a real good addition, a perfectionist who was able to help improve the sound after the first night considerably if not completely'. 

'Broers' is very much worth watching. The intimacy of these smaller theatres allows audience anticipation.  Having a mother from Flanders, born in Brasschaat and raised in Mechelen, the groans of 'Alleeeeee' and 'Amaiiiii' I heard from the crowd warmed me as much as Erik and Peter. They could not prevent themselves from talking to the audience, feeling what they felt and often agreeing with them.
The reaction of the audience, singing and clapping along, laughing with tears of joy and sadness, even wanting to move and dance....yeah this piece got something going. 

And I noticed it touched Hanne and Martin in the crowd as well.

The formula with Fred is good. 
He enjoys himself there....I've known him this way for quite some years. He is a really good musician and harmony singer. After 40 years of EBI you can imagine I saw something more than just two harmony-singing brothers. I agree with lots of the views of the makers. The magic is,  that this way you can still be a fan of the brothers as well as their songs.

There's even respect growing for the fact that these brothers gave the world some unforgettable joy, songs that will live on, notwithstanding the hard times they went through growing up, side by side so close, while they did not even like each other's company most of the time. You can see some sort of rivalry and hate growing.....and still those concerts don't show it to the general audience. Imagine what that all does to people, to brothers!

'Brothers' will play in the cultural centers around Flanders next year. The prospects for England are relatively good too. Martin, at the moment, is trying out some Dutch production houses to stir up some interest there. We'll see what the feedback is. If any of you have any ideas on the subject concerning media connections, sponsors, etc., please let us know and we can get the ball rolling. 

As King says, 'If it's meant to be it will happen, otherwise not'.

With this production they have a unique opportunity to bring those marvellous Everly songs back into the public psyche. The audience reaction was tremendous and we're sure that this will work in the Netherlands too.

This sincere email from Martin reached me the afternoon after the night of the performannce...... seems I wasn't the only one with a headache, haha!


Martial at the afterparty with Martin King and the 'Broers'

'It was a genuine pleasure and an honor meeting you. It felt like bumping into an old friend. I'm spending today recovering. Thank you so much for coming down to see 'Broers' and for endorsing the play on your website. You've been a great source of information and inspiration for this work and I hope that we'll remain friends for a long time to come.

Sincere thanks and respect           Martin'

PS. My wife Freya sends her regards
We even made the news here. Click on the link'.
http://www.atv.be/v3/newsdetail.aspx?mid=&id=3720

We're proud to quote Martin in saying that our help has been very valuable and that our EBI WebSite and feedback have been a major inspiration to the writing of this production. 

Martin added, 'now it's down to the nitty gritty. The details - getting them right. My problem is trying to avoid being too meticulous. I'm looking for that happy medium that entertains and informs without lecturing. 

I'll keep you posted on how the production progresses and thanks again for your input. Check out my site http://users.skynet.be/martinking to get some background if you like'.

SHOW HISTORY
17 and 18 November 2006, Fakkel Theatre, Antwerp, Belgium
1 December 2006, Theatre Arte, Brussels, Belgium

If you want to give the family a really great night out full of laughter, tears, surprises and really great music take them to see 'Broers' when it's at a theatre near you. 

 

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