A naked girl stands in a trough.

She is fourteen years old, almost a child.

Her backside gleams helplessly in the glare of the headlights, she holds her arms close to her body, her hands reach into the void below, as if they were looking in vain for support.

A man stands in front of her, almost fifty, he looks at her with relish, letting his eyes travel over her skin.

Then he steps forward, grabs an old sponge and starts cleaning her body.

Simon Strauss

Editor in the Feuilleton.

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Cautiously at first, then more and more determined, he guides the sponge everywhere.

Agonizing seconds pass.

A perpetrator cleans his victim.

A grown man touches a child.

A girl on the verge of becoming a woman who doesn't know what's happening to her.

The staging reproduces the perpetrator's voyeurism without hesitation.

Six hundred well-dressed theatergoers watch with interest as a soul is destroyed.

The Teichtmeister case has not attracted much attention in the Netherlands.

The story of the uncovered pedophilia of an Austrian actor who secretly hoarded tens of thousands of sex files with minors was only worth a few lines of news to most of the media in this country.

And yet the recent premiere evening at the Internationaal Theater Amsterdam seems like a direct reaction to this.

Ivo van Hove, the grand seigneur of the Dutch stage world and future director of the Ruhrtriennale, has scenically adapted the second novel by the well-known, non-binary Dutch writer Marieke Lucas Rijneveld.

Published by Suhrkamp in German in 2021 under the title “Mein klein Prachttier”, the book tells the story of a sexual transgression.

In the summer of 2005, Kurt, an unhappily married veterinarian, examines the cows of a neighboring farmer and meets his fourteen-year-old daughter.

Deterred by her own father's strictly Calvinistic way of life, the despairing girl immediately trusts the amiable man and forms a childlike friendship with him.

What begins as a strange game between two unequals soon takes on the manic traits of a fetish-like relationship and finally ends in the catastrophe of a horrific sexual crime.

Dream of kissing frogs

On the Amsterdam stage, two live cows document the milieu of provincial agriculture, from which both the director and the audience otherwise seem as far removed as possible.

The stage floor is covered with shimmering golden straws, here and there a few well-lit cattle breeding utensils are lying around, next to them a small trampoline, the mattress of a double bed and a motorbike.

The young son of the vet rattled in with it.

He would actually be the natural companion for that lonely girl who dreams of kissing frogs and wants nothing more than to pee standing up.

But his own father (played in a provocatively casual manner by Hans Kesting) forestalls him.