Breaking the Silence
The Netherlands

Via Berlin (in collaboration with Berlage Saxophone Quartet)

Directed by Ria Marks

Written by Sophie Kassies


19th Oct. 2018, 16:00

20th Oct. 2018, 11:00/16:00

21st Oct. 2018, 13:00/16:00

WHERE: Water Theatre

Duration: 75 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in Dutch, with Chinese and English subtitles

This project has been supported by Performance Infinity and Performing Arts Fund NL.


Breaking the Silence by Via Berlin is highly impressive: it combines words and music into an appealing whole (...) The music by Ligeti and Shostakovich is played with brilliant timing by the Berlage Saxophone Quartet.

— Marco Weijers, De Telegraaf

The woman (intensely played by Dagmar Slagmolen) feverishly wanders through the Stalinist, angular decor of bare desks and glass border post houses. She gets entangled in Kafkaesque thoughts, expressed in a beautifully circular text by Sophie Kassies.    

— Annette Embrechts, De Volkskrant

Associative text fragments express her fear, her loneliness and the interconnectedness and contradictions between man and woman. And the music reflects or contrasts that. The tightness of the choreography contrasts beautifully with the playfulness of the music.    

— Hans Brans, Leeuwarder Courant

Sleek design, nicely told and performed beautifully musically. In every detail -- the costumes, the decor, the sound decor, the exciting choreography -- a master hand prevails. (...) Directed by Ria Marks, Breaking the Silence becomes a highly stylized performance in which everything is right, including the heart-breaking finale.

— Margriet Prinssen, Noord Hollands Dagblad

About Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence tells the story of a woman living in the midst of a dictatorial regime. She was a talented cello player, who gave up her career to start working for the state, checking compositions for subversive messages. One day her husband, a favoured but stubborn composer, suddenly disappears. On the day of his disappearance she finds a daring new piece of music her husband composed, leading her to start a frantic and dangerous search for him, making her delve into their past. Unanswered questions plague her during her search: why did her husband compose this type of music all of a sudden? It's atonal, cynical and clearly critiques the regime. He must have known he would put their lives in jeopardy this way. Did he challenge their safety on purpose? Why did he not trust her? Why did their relationship change over the years?

About Ria Marks

Ria Marks was educated as a theatre performer at the Amsterdam Theatre School. After having played with different companies, she joined Orkater, Holland’s most prominent company in the field of Music Theatre. There, she performed in plays such as Under Milk Wood, Lorca’s Blood Wedding, Kaspar Hauser, Festen, (nomination for Columbina) La Voix Humaine, etc.

In 1997, she created and performed together with Titus Tiel Groenestege False Waltz, a trilogy depicting the life of a couple through the three stages of their life: love, marriage, and old age. This trilogy was played all over the world using mime and movement as the tools of expression, and was made into a movie, nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007. The film received many prizes and awards, such as the Prix d’Italia and a Rocky Award.

Since the beginning of her career, Ria Marks has alternated between acting and directing, creating her own performances and directing others in creating their work.

For the last nine years she has been directing the productions of Via Berlin, a young Dutch Music & Theatre company. She has collaborated with various music ensembles, such as: The Ragazze String Quartet, Slagwerk Den Haag, Cello Octet, Berlage Saxofoon Quartet, and Holland Baroque.

She also gives workshops to communicate her unique vocabulary of creative tools with which drama, music and movement are brought together in a new creative process. Recently, Ria Marks has been invited to give lectures and workshops in Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing; New York, Rio de Janeiro, Reykjavik.


Concept: Dagmar Slagmolen, Peter Vigh

Acting and cello: Dagmar Slagmolen

Voice Over: Porgy Fransen

Music: Berlage Saxophone Quartet - Lars Niederstrasser, Peter Vigh, Juani Palop, Eva van Grinsven

Director: Ria Marks

Choreographer: Pim Veulings

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich, György Ligeti, Peter Vigh

Script: Sophie Kassies

Sound Design: Robert van Delft, Femke Diemer

Sound Technique: Femke Diemer

This project has been supported by Performance Infinity and Performing Arts Fund NL.

About Via Berlin & Berlage Saxophone Quartet

Via Berlin

Via Berlin is a musical theatre company founded by Dagmar Slagmolen and Rosa Arnold. Using a unique combination of world famous classical music and original words, Via Berlin tells, in its own way, very personal and recognisable stories that symbolise universal, societal and current themes such as war, illegality, aging and our consumer society. Via Berlin is known for plays such as Een mond vol zand (A Mouth Full of Sand), Home Sweet Home and Dead End. In 2014, the company won the Charlotte Köhler Prize, awarded by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, a prize given to encourage young talent. The company's core creatives are director Ria Marks, set designer Michiel Voet and costume designer Dieuweke van Reij.

Berlage Saxophone Quartet

The Berlage Saxophone Quartet was founded in Amsterdam in 2008 by Lars Niederstraßer, Peter Vigh, Kirstin Niederstraßer and Eva van Grinsven. The four musicians studied at the Conservatory of the city with Arno Bornkamp. Further studies followed with Daniel Gauthier (Cologne), Jean-Denis Michat (Lyon) and Claude Delangle (Paris). Additionally, the quartet studied chamber music with the Artemis Quartett in Berlin and also did master classes in ensemble playing with members of the Alban Berg Quartett and the Belcea Quartet. Breaking the Silence will be played by Lars Niederstraßer, Peter Vigh, Eva van grinsven and Juani Palop.