ISBN: 9781783191697
Binding: PaperBack

BigmoutH / SmallWaR: Two Plays

Valentjin Dhaenens



He who picks his words well can turn the weakest argument into the strongest.

Valentijn Dhaenens pays tribute to 2,500 years of oration. Ingeniously weaving together fragments of seminal sermons, declarations of war, farewells, final arguments, victory speeches and eulogies from the Grand Inquisitor and Socrates to Mohammed Ali and Osama Bin Laden, BigmoutH shows that the tricks of rhetoric have hardly changed.


When clean souls boil up in the backwash, they will consolidate after the final war, into a peace that shall endure… but not till then. By examining the things cast up in the backwash, we can gauge the progress of humanity. Ellen Newbold-La-Motte, nurse in a field hospital, behind the front lines in 1914. 

A nurse maintains watchful vigil over patients as fragments of past wars lurk within the shadows. SmallWaR tells the story in the words of those who were there and led the way, and – crucially – those who followed. 

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781783191697
Binding PaperBack



‘Seldom has so much horror been made so tangible through such intimacy.’ De Standaard (Belguim)

‘Dhaenens's writing is stark and poetic…a sensitive, thoughtful and often beautiful response to the continuing suffering caused by war.’ Telegraph

‘Unbearably poignant…The piece is as effective in demonstrating what war does with the minds and hearts of those involved, as it is at showing us the devastating physical consequences.’ Guardian

‘Drawn from the testimonies of soldiers through history, the play exposes how brutally war dehumanises... it rewards the audience with great poignancy.’ Financial Times


‘an electrifying and transcendent piece of art.’ Exeunt

‘If Dhaenens is new to you… brace yourself for an unnerving, technically risky and thought-provoking show… I would hate to have missed it.’ The Times

‘Brilliant… a fascinating experience.’ Guardian