the wetsuitman

by Freek Mariën

translated by David McKay

Three actors, twenty-eight characters, one true story.

It’s 2015 on the coast of Norway. A retired architect finds a wetsuit, and in it, the remains of a body. The detective unit hits one dead end after another – until another body in an identical wetsuit washes up in the Netherlands.

Starting as a Nordic noir, The Wetsuitman playfully and movingly transforms into an exploration of identity, prejudice and forced migration. As one journalist digs deeper into the story behind the Wetsuitman, it becomes an interrogation of the world in which he was washed up and exactly how that could happen.

This timely and important play by award-winning Belgian playwright Freek Mariën takes us on a journey from Norway, through Europe, and to Syria, revealing the devastating truth behind one family’s loss.


English language premiere

Dutch (Flanders)

show details

: ensemble

David Djemal as Magnussen, a medical examiner, a pathologist, a salesperson, a lifeguard, a police officer, a hacker, a customs official, the interpreter, and the brother.

Eugenia Low as an architect, Hustvedt, the French diver, a beach bar owner, a tourism officer, yet another salesperson, a shop manager, Nadine, the refugee, and the mother.

Youness Bouzinab as Westerman, the mother of a French diver, a beachcomber, another salesperson, a scientist, a corporate spokesperson, the aid worker, and the father.

: production team

Creative Producers
Camila França & Trine Garrett

Technical Production Manager
Pembe Tokluhan

Technical Stage Manager
Jaymie Quin-Stewart (2022)

Technical Stage Manager
Lauren Wedgeworth (2023)

Trine Garrett

Lighting Designer
Amy Daniels (2023)

Sound Designer
Nikiforos Fintzos (2023)

Movement Director
Franck Jeuffroy

Embedded Critic & Cultural Dramaturg
Deema Al-Mohammad

Production Dramaturg
Ria Samartzi

supported by

Arts Council England, Flanders Ministry of Culture, the Diplomatic Representation of Flanders, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and Mill Co. and the Rose Lipman Building, Haggerston (official venue partner).

The translation has been developed with support from Flanders Literature as part of Foreign Affairs Theatre Translator Mentorship 2020/21.

Presented by arrangement with IPR Ltd in a rolling English language premiere by The Cherry Arts, Ithaca, NY, and Foreign Affairs, London.

production shots

© Tim Morozzo