Gob Squad / CAMPO

Before Your Very Eyes

Part of "Be Part of Something Bigger"


75 min

Ladies and Gentlemen! Gob Squad proudly present a live show with real children. A rare and magnificent opportunity to witness seven lives lived in fast forward… Before Your Very Eyes!

You probably don’t remember the historic day when you first saw yourself in the mirror. Perhaps a big person dangled you before the reflective surface, curious to see if you would recognize yourself. Perhaps you crawled towards the shiny surface or perhaps you clambered on to the side of the bath to steal that first glance at what you will come to recognize as you... that entity that you are going to refer to as "I" for the whole of your life. Later you touch the surface of the looking glass in wonder at the whole reversed world on the other side. Are the rules the same? If you moved quickly enough, perhaps you could surprise yourself. If only you could somehow get through, would you meet yourself, or would you simply trade places with your own reverse version? Would the world beyond the mirrors reach actually exist or did it require the reflection to bring it into being? Hardly a day will pass that you will not see this other self, accidentally or consciously staring back, checking and affirming itself. Like rehearsing your own signature, at some point you will have to take control and develop strategies and poise to deal with this other you that is forever changing before your very eyes.


For the first time in their 17 year history, Gob Squad do not appear onstage themselves, instead directing a group of 8-14 year olds. As the audience observe them in a "safe-room" made of one-way mirrors like insects in a jam jar, the children onstage peer into the future at themselves as adults, and nostalgically back at their recent past. And as we try to stop the process of ageing and preserve youth as long as we can, they prepare to leave childhood behind forever.

The starting point for this piece is the human longing to be able to influence the passage of time, turn back time or look into the future to learn from it. Through the world of video, Gob Squad have found a way to make this happen... Five years ago at the start of 2009, Gob Squad began working on their long term project Before Your Very Eyes. 14 Belgian children, then aged between 7-12 were filmed with a video camera directing questions to their older selves or telling themselves what was occupying them at the moment. Thus the camera becomes a time machine, making it possible to have a dialogue with your future self.

Months, then years later, the videos were played again and the same children, somewhat older each time, stood in front of their own life sized projected image on stage, talking and answering questions. This material formed the highly regarded performance Before Your Very Eyes  which first took place in its mirrored box in 2011 in Berlin in HAU. Even if the situation is artificial - because after all nobody is really able to talk to their past selves, this is more a performer talking to a video recording - the audience of Before Your Very Eyes is witness to a personal encounter of a growing person with themselves as they journey through time.

In Autumn 2014 it will have been over five years since the first video recordings were made with the children. They have all become teenagers by now. They find themselves in the middle of one of the most radical human transformations – their bodies have changed explosively and even their own voices sound like someone else. Their young faces have given way to different expressions: more mature, serious, grown up.

Now the group of 12-17 year olds are coming together for one last time for Be Part of Something Bigger. After the premiere in 2011 and its invitation to Theatertreffen, the Berlin public has one last chance to see the internationally acclaimed production return once more to its place of origin.

Before Your Very Eyes is the last part of the CAMPO trilogy of theatre works with children, made for an adult audience. The first part was Josse De Pauw’s üBUNG, followed by Tim Etchells‘ That Night Follows Day.



  • Past
    Fri 21.11.2014, 19:00 / HAU1


Produced by: CAMPO, GHENT (BE) and GOB SQUAD (DE). Coproduced by: Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin (D); Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf (D); Noorderzon, Groningen (NL); NEXT Festival, Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai+Valenciennes; Mousonturm, Frankfurt (D); La Bâtie-Festival de Genève (CH). Gob Squad is funded by the Berliner Kulturverwaltung.

[Translate to EN:]


Stresemannstr. 29, 10963 Berlin

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