New production: CARESS ME – Manticore – immersive theater

New production: CARESS ME – Manticore – immersive theater

The latest production of award-winning STILTLIFE is called CARESS ME – Manticore and is corona-proof experience theater.
It is also our most special production, because we are literally and figuratively taking a new path with it. The new path consists of a labyrinth of more than 50 meters in length, which is walked through by the participants. As with every labyrinth, there is a center here, and here resides an ancient mythical creature, half human and half animal. It has an old Persian name, and many of us don’t know what the translation of this word means; Manticore!

Not a childlike theater but an adult experience between art, fairytale and reality.

Seen from the outside, it looks like a Bedouin tent is flirting with a circus-chapiteau with a guard who seems to have stepped out of a David Lynch film. When the door has been opened after a cleansing ritual, you enter a narrow corridor: the beginning of the labyrinth. After every turn you take you expect to have reached the middle, but that middle is waiting to be reached. The soundtrack of passionate Persian music and jungle sounds complete your journey. And eventually you reach the enclosure of the mythical Manticore.

Manticore (old Persian for Man-eater)

With these kind of semi-creatures you always have to be careful, but our Manticore is still young and playful, with an incredibly soft coat and he wants nothing more than to be stroked. But is that allowed? During STROKE ME you come face to face with something strange that has the potential to be terrifying, but also the potential to become a sweet and sociable friend. The choice is yours!

You enter the labyrinth alone (children go together under the supervision of an adult) and the encounter with the Manticore will be different for everyone and a very personal experience.
The labyrinth is an ancient human symbol that represents an inner journey and self-exploration. In the middle you will experience something, after which you continue your way and come out AGAIN changed.

Some reactions from our audience

“It’s so nice to experience something so surprising in times of Corona.”
“I imagined myself in a David Lynch movie.”
“I was so curious, I had to know what’s inside!”
“Totally unexpected.”
“I was so scared! But it also very cool. ”
“You have to be brave, you have to be nice and then it will set you free.” (A child of approx. 10 years old)
“Can I? Do I want? May I? Lots of questions. But then you let go and understand that anything is allowed. ”


Great, I want to take a date! 

CARESS ME for institutions 

This performance is particularly suitable for playing for institutions for, for example, multiple handicapped people. Firstly, they can walk the labyrinth at their own pace together with a guide. They can also independently design the contact with the Manticore. The journey through the labyrinth is exciting for them, and the physical contact, the touch, the stroking is experienced by the clients as pleasant and joyful.

Recommendation from Michel van Tongeren, coordinator Leisure and Volunteers of Het Raamwerk

When I heard about the plans, I was immediately surprised and convinced that it would suit the people we provide care to. They experience the world in a way that fits this surprise.
Not a childlike theater but an adult experience between art, fairytale and reality. Somewhat comparable to the borders on which many people with intellectual disabilities also live.

The construction takes you into the imagination that there is something exciting to experience. The entrance is tempting with such a beautiful pretty woman who invites you, but actually lures you in. The route through the labyrinth is getting more and more exciting because of the length and the sounds you hear.

A special animal is waiting in the center that you have to do something with: petting, pawing, get scared or simply ignore. Everything happens in a matter of seconds and after that you are either in love … or shocked, disconcerted, but at the least you are an experience richer.
It is a continuous theater that fits perfectly into the experience of people with and without an intellectual disability. Short exciting and surprising, a little rough but that contrasts well with the cuddliness of the beast.

The production was made possible in part by a grant from the NFPK (# Balkonscènes) and is further supported by a Crowdfunding Campaign on #Voordekunst!
In collaboration with Carolien Terlaak – Lienbags, Goetz Steinbrecher – P2R
Performers: Lucie Pokorna, Suzanne Zeegers, Miranda Heg, Peggy van Breugel

Technical Rider

Fairly flat surface with a floor area of approx. 8 mx 8 m
Build up 2.5 hours, take down 1 hour
Playing time 4 x 45 min within 4 hours (possibly extra hours or 2 half-days in a row with a longer break)
The public enters the labyrinth 1 by 1, children only accompanied by an adult

#Coronaproof, Covid 19 measures 

  • Access control by a performer at the entrance of the Labyrinth, one adult or one household with children is allowed at a time.
  • Before entering the labyrinth, the hands of the public are disinfected.
  • The performer wears cloth gloves.
  • The labyrinth is only re-entered by the next visitor (s) when the predecessor leaves the middle section. The route inwards and outwards are also continuously separated from each other.
  • All Covid 19 measures that apply at that time are taken into account. Even now the project can be executed. The set-up and implementation options for the specific situation are discussed with each applicant.


CARESS ME – Manticore corona proof experience theater at your event or festival?

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