Harmony in the Load Out

24 November 2023

Last night, at the esteemed Muziekgebouw, as the echoes of “Rhapsody” faded away in the Grote Zaal, a different kind of symphony began backstage.

The Rhapsodic End of “Rhapsody”

The performance, a stunning blend of spoken word and music, inspired by the iconic VPRO television series “Van de schoonheid en de troost,” had just concluded. The audience was left mesmerized by Josse De Pauw’s interpretation and Frederik Neyrinck’s compositions. But for us, the crew, our performance was just beginning.

The Unspoken Dance of Load-Out

Unlike the audience, we didn’t witness the imposant installation by Anne Marcq or the engaging light design by Luc Schaltin and Pino Etz. We were backstage, prepping for the load-out. This is where our tight-knit crew shines. In the world of theatre, the load-out, the teardown phase after a show, is a dance as intricate as any performance on stage.

In our world, there’s a rhythm to unscrewing, a harmony in unplugging, and a melody in moving out. Yesterday was no different. As the final applause died down, we moved in. Each one of us knew our part by heart. In a world where efficiency and precision are kings, we were the silent monarchs of the night.

Effortless Coordination, Unspoken Understanding

What I love most about our crew is the seamless communication that comes not from words, but from working together in close harmony. Like an ensemble that needs no conductor, we moved through the Grote Zaal with a shared purpose. There’s something beautiful in how a glance can convey a thousand instructions and a nod can affirm perfect understanding.

The decor that had brought “Rhapsody” to life was now in our hands, and we treated it with a mix of reverence and efficiency. The lights, which had just moments ago painted the stage with emotion, were silently packed away. Beautiful crumbled paper-like curtains were carefully rolled up and shoved into a trailer.

Reflections on the Night

As we loaded out the last roll of ballet floor, I couldn’t help but reflect on the show’s theme: the beauty in uncertainty, the poetry in the unknown. In our line of work, the certainty lies in our skills, the known in our experience. But every night, with every performance, there’s a new challenge, a fresh perspective. And, of course, things that don’t go as planned.

The show “Rhapsody” itself was a testament to the power of art in encapsulating complex emotions and thoughts. Josse De Pauw’s portrayal and the interwoven music and spoken words reminded us of the myriad ways in which art touches lives. And as we, the crew, played our part in the background, there was a quiet acknowledgment of our role in this grand tapestry of artistic expression.

The Unsung Heroes

As I left Muziekgebouw, the experience lingered with me. It’s moments like these that remind me why I love this job. We may not be in the spotlight, but in our own quiet, efficient way, we are integral to the magic of theatre. The load-out may just seem like the end, but for us, it’s a crucial part of the show’s lifecycle, a testament to the collaborative spirit of theatre.

Tonight, as the Muziekgebouw stands silent, it holds the memories of “Rhapsody” and the unspoken symphony of its load-out – a melody that resonates with those who understand the beauty of what happens behind the curtains.

Oh, and the thing that went wrong? Well, nothing went wrong at all! How odd.


tags: muziekgebouw amsterdam load-out