A group of people are having a party. The host has invited concert pianist Johan van Spek to perform one of his own compositions, which leaves the piano in such a state that a tuner arrives shortly to care for it.

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Cast

Cast overview:
John Soer
Will Van Selst
Elisabeth Andersen
Ina van Faassen
Gerard Hartkamp
John Lanting
Carol van Herwijnen
Mieke Bos
Paul Cammermans
Yoka Berretty
Wim T. Schippers ...
Johan van Spek (as Jacques Plafond)
Henk van Ulsen ...
J.Plek
André van den Heuvel
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Storyline

A group of people are having a party. The host has invited concert pianist Johan van Spek to perform one of his own compositions, which leaves the piano in such a state that a tuner arrives shortly to care for it.

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Drama

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15 February 1972 (Netherlands)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This TV special can be found on disc 1 of Wim T. Schippers' Televisiepraktijken DVD box 9: Single Plays & Vroeg Werk. See more »

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Introducing Jacques Plafond
3 November 2010 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This 'one act play' from 1972 was brought to television by the same people who were creating the controversial 'Fred Haché Show' at the same time. But in contrast to Haché, 'Stemmen' features a cast full of professional thespians – and also marks the official acting debut of writer Wim T. Schippers, credited under his favourite pseudonym, 'Jacques Plafond'.

Ten people are sitting around attending some kind of cocktail party. They never seem to get up for drinks or to go to the bathroom, but constantly keep up a steady stream of overlapping dialog that would put even Robert Altman to shame. Because of the unrelenting barrage of sound, it is difficult to focus on any of their conversations. Instead, directors Gied Jaspars and Wim van der Linden play around with their patented 'modern shots' that prefer to focus on inanimate objects, leaving the actors only partially visible. One shot lingers on the only door that leads in and out of the room, yet nobody comes in or out, nor does the doorbell ring at this time.

After several minutes of this, about the time the viewers have either already turned off or become fascinated trying to decipher the meaning of it all, the host of the party (played by Will van Selst) announces that his special guest has arrived: the pianist and composer Johan van Spek (J. Plafond). The musician proceeds to perform one of his own compositions, 'Fantastique Modern', which amounts to little more than him bashing the piano keys to produce as much noise as possible. When the host finally gathers the courage to interrupt, the pianist gets angry and storms off in a huff. The remaining guests pick up their conversations again until the chandelier suddenly falls down.

Actor André van den Heuvel walks into frame, seemingly from another set, and disappears again after staring straight into the camera for a moment. Just when most of the conversations whimper out, the party is treated to an unexpected guest, J.Plek (Henk van Ulsen) the piano-tuner. Despite some objections, the host allows Plek to take apart the piano, but the instrument doctor soon concludes that it is beyond repair owing to the beating it just had at the hands of musician Van Spek. Therefore, Plek proceeds to con the owner of the dear departed piano to buy a new one from him.

After Plek's departure (he had some more piano's to tune) guest Carol van Herwijnen gets a cup of coffee all over his trousers, and when a lady (Mieke Bos) offers her handkerchief and some help, her partner (John Lanting) expresses some jealousy. Around the 35 minute mark, the play fades out with the party and conversations still in progress. The entire thing seems to be an exorcise in sound, as well as pushing the boundaries of except able television. The idea seems to be a continuation of the 'A-dynamic art' Schippers created and exhibition ed during the Sixties.

Now available on DVD as part of the complete Wim T. Schippers television collection, this particular short play comes in very handy when throwing a party of your own. As soon as the first guests arrive, push the play button to create a crowded atmosphere stimulating interesting conversation. We suggest turning down the volume during the piano concerto and the subsequent tuning, and go back to the beginning whenever there's a lull in your real time play.

7 out of 10


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