Munch en Van Gogh

The Scream of the Sunflower

A director has plans for an ambitious film about the life of Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh. Both painters stood at the cradle of modern art and left their mark on the way that we think about beauty and artistry. They achieved immortality through their work, yet were vilified during their lifetimes. It was very difficult for these artists to find their place in society and both fell prey to despair. In turn, the film director ties himself in knots trying to create his masterpiece. Huge amounts of money are necessary, ideally from private investors. But what price will he ultimately have to pay?

Fascinated by the way an artist ‘breathes’ his surroundings, Ulrike Quade examines the parallels in the life and work of Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). They were contemporaries who were both equally shaped, and stifled, by their deeply religious surroundings. Using the biographies of these two important painters as a starting point, she explores the place of artists within society, and on the margins of it – both in the past, as well as today.

This performance was created to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch. The performance is an artistic collaboration with Jo Strømgren, with whom the successful performance The Writer was created in 2009, a work based on the life and work of the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun.

In co-production with Jo Strømgren Kompani, Oslo (NO), the Nordland Visual Theatre, Stamsund (NO) and the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (DE).

,,After just a couple of minutes you kind of forget that Munch and Van Gogh are played by puppets. … beautiful dream scenes about both their quests for happiness, love and recognition.’’

★★★ Trouw (Sander Hiskemuller)

,,The puppetry of identically dressed Ulrike Quade and Cat Smits is so skillful. They switch so quickly between acting and manipulating their puppets that you seem to forget who is humand who is doll.’’

★★★ Theaterkrant (Anita Twaalfhoven)

,,Munch & Van Gogh: The Scream of The Sunflower at Tobacco Factory: with unmistakable class and aplomb, Ulrike Quade Company delivers another astonishing work of high-calibre puppetry.’’

Exeunt Magazine (Regina Papachlimitzou)

,,The puppetry is amazing: Quade en Cat Smits (…) play the puppets seemingly invisible, the next second as their counterpart. The painters dance their convincingly sultry moves with the actresses.’’

Het Parool (Simon van den Berg)


Concept: Ulrike Quade, Jo Strømgren and Marc Becker
Direction: Jo Strømgren
Text: Marc Becker
Performers: Cat Smits en Ulrike Quade of Meike van den Akker
Dolls: Maria Landgraf, Ulrike Quade
Assistant Director: Sara Serrano
Costume design: Jacqueline Steijlen
Sound design: Lars Årdal
Lighting design: Jo Strømgren
Technical staff: Niels Runderkamp, Jan Sol

Production: Jo Strømgren Kompani (NO), Ulrike Quade Company (NL), Nordland Visual Theatre (NO).

Coproduction with: Jo Strømgren Kompani Oslo (NO), Nordland Visual Theatre Stamsund (NO) en Oldenburgisches Staatstheater Oldenburg (DE)

Together with: Riksteatret Oslo (NO).

Supported by: Norsk kulturråd, Fonds Podiumkunsten (FPK), Gemeente Amsterdam.