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Two friends, one incurable illness

Give Me My Hand Back

Joris Van den Brande

A few years ago, the regular production designer at theatre company BRONKS told Joris Van den Brande that he was suffering from a serious illness. A disease with just one certainty: it would only get worse. Parkinson’s. Nobody knows how bad or at what rate.

Hessels and Van den Brande play the emotional card without being corny. Macho talk and a soft centre: this piece has both.
Het Nieuwsblad

Joris distilled this story into a play that looks the fear and uncertainty straight in the eye. Two best friends try to give a voice to the illness that stands between them and explore the effect it has on them: the fear of decline, the future loss, the pressure to draw up a bucket list and the sense of injustice. Free from taboos and packed with humour, ‘Give Me My Hand Back’ opens a difficult theme up for discussion for both a young and an old(er) audience. In a candid conversation, the two characters explore how this new situation can bring them together and how this illness either challenges or strengthens their friendship. Tragicomic, vulnerable and moving – but above all genuine.

Maybe this season’s best kept secret
Jury report Theater Festival