Following the success of the theatrical concerts based on the work of Sarah Kane (The SK Concert – 2018) and Heiner Müller (The HM Concert – 2019), PERMANENT DESTRUCTION is taking a new approach. In the last part of her triptych, Pain Against Fear, Naomi Velissariou takes off all masks and confronts both herself and her audience. Whereas the first two parts were centered around hatred in all its manifestations (self-hatred, misogyny, hatred of life), the third and final part is an attempt to overcome fear as a breeding ground for that hatred. Pain Against Fear is mindfulness on speed. The music is a merciless mix of the ear-splitting sound of Joost Maaskant and Velissariou’s headstrong attempt at vulnerability.
PERMANENT DESTRUCTION is both the title to a post-dystopian musical theater triptych and the name of a band, in which actor and director Naomi Velissariou and sound producer Joost Maaskant wish to get rid of a number of taboos that define our current image culture. Sentiments like self-hatred and fear of failure are to be avoided in this culture because they aren’t sexy or Instagram-worthy. After all, you can’t brand yourself by expressing your pain. Or can you?
In Pain Against Fear personal revelations are accompanied by an invitation to the audience. An invitation to eradicate your fear by raving to the rhythm of your pain. In the passionate belief that the acceptance of pain can ease our suffering.
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The SK Concert was a battle with heartbreak and self-hatred and The HM Concert tackled feminist extremism. In the third instalment of the trilogy, Pain Against Fear, Naomi wants to debunk hate by finding its origin. At the unavoidable end of this search lies fear. Pain Against Fear is a final battle between pain and fear where only the sufferers emerge victorious. “It’s my dream to turn Pain Against Fear into a rave, in which I invite everyone in the audience to adjure their fear by celebrating their pain with me. Instead of feminist extremism, it’ll be mindfulness on speed” says Naomi Velissariou in De Standaard.
Naomi Velissariou won the Regieprijs (Director’s Prize) for The SK Concert in 2019. The production was selected for the Officiële Juryselectie (Official Jury’s Selection) of both the Nederlandse Theater Festival (Dutch Theatre Festival) as the Vlaamse Theaterfestival (Flamish Theatre Festival).