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10 juni 2021 | Nieuws

Tessa Jonge Poerink is looking forward to marathon production Trojan Wars

The cancellation of the marathon production Trojan Wars was a big disappointment for Tessa Jonge Poerink, 2020 winner in the Dramatic Arts category. And the premiere of the film in which she makes her debut as a movie actress was postponed, too. But this summer things will get going again. “I think it will all be very emotional.”

Netflix with a professional eye

All is well with Tessa – let’s get this straight right away. “But I don’t have much to do at the moment,” she says honestly. “There are prospects though.” Tessa still takes singing lessons, and twice a week she does physical training under the supervision of a physiotherapist. And she watches Netflix a lot. “With a professional eye,” she chuckles. “At the moment I’m watching The Twelve, a Flemish drama series. It’s fascinating to see these actors at work. The fact that they’re not your Dutch colleagues makes a change. And the Flemish accent provides an extra layer. It’s just as if it makes the funny things funnier and the dramatic things more dramatic.”

‘Part of my identity’

Last year, The National Theatre’s marathon production Trojan Wars, proclaimed ‘the most spectacular youth performance ever’, was put on hold a day before the premiere. Tessa would play Cassandra, the prophetess. The premiere is now scheduled to take place in October of this year. “It would have been impossible to cancel it altogether,” Tessa explains. “We had put so much into it. It was the dream project of artistic director Noël Fischer. So we’ll be back in October! We’ll take all of September for rehearsals. We really do need that. We have to put things together again, so to speak.”

Tessa Jonge Poerink in Trojan Wars. Photo Sanne Peper

Tessa also had her very first film role last year, playing in Ramon Gieling’s Sisyphus at work. “It was an honour to take part,” she says. Unfortunately, the premiere of the film, which was scheduled to take place in December of last year, has been postponed until further notice. “So I do have things to look forward to. And I see light; there is hope. During the past few months I have come to realise how much my work is part of my identity. I think it will all be very emotional when things get going again, very overwhelming.”

Tessa’s own project

Tessa very much enjoyed the coaching session with Antoinette Jelgersma and John de Weerd, the jury members for the Dramatic Arts category. Such a coaching session is part of the prize. “It was good to speak to two theatre professionals, who don’t belong to my own social circle. They really listened, it was very valuable for me. It gave me the feeling that, despite everything, I’m on the right track, that my frustrations about everything standing still are quite normal, not strange at all. It was truly refreshing to speak about exactly that.”

Because of the Covid crisis the prize money has mostly been a tremendously important buffer for Tessa so far. But she has set the sum aside, since she is very much aware of the fact that the prize was also an encouragement to develop her own project. Tessa hasn’t forgotten about this aspect and is reflecting on a project about her small stature. “I am working on it,” she says, “but it’s still immature. Perhaps it shouldn’t be theatre, but a documentary… In any case, at present everything is stationary and there are not many places where I could come knocking with my plans. It’s on hold.”

And this not only sounds realistic, but promising, too.

Text: Anna Beerens
Foto: Hessel Waalewijn