The Cutter-off of Water

An experiment with new, unusual sounds of acoustic instruments

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Published in 1989, Marguerite Duras' Le coupeur d’eau (The Cutter-off of Water) is a moving short story inspired by a tragic fait divers: the suicide of an entire family after a waterworks employee cut off the water.

Based on a novel by Marguerite Duras, Dirk Roofthooft sketches the poignant portrait of a man tormented by guilt after he, as an official of the water company, turns off the water supply to a family who subsequently throw themselves and their children in front of a train. Whereas Duras aloofly reports the facts, Roofthooft goes in search of the words that were not spoken, the explanation that was never offered. It affords the simple workman a face, the anonymous executor of an inhuman task, who also became a victim, isolated and stigmatised, as a result of his deed. All facets of a destructive self-confrontation resound in the composition and soundscapes by Diederik De Cock: from the apology to the doubt, from the anger to the despair.

"Roofthooft is a born master storyteller". (, 18 March 2013)





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Produced by Muziektheater Transparant and co-produced by deSingel and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Thanks to Twiggy, Gent.

Location Dates Hour  
CC Zwaneberg Heist-op-den-Berg (Heist-op-den-Berg)
+32 15 25 07 70
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Charleroi (Charleroi)
071 31 12 12
Texts: Marguerite Duras • Dirk RoofthooftSaxophone: Piet RebelComposition: Diederik De Cock in collaboration with Piet Rebel • Direction: Dirk RoofthooftDiederik De CockActor: Dirk RoofthooftLyrics: Dirk RoofthooftVideo: Dirk RoofthooftSound Design: Diederik De CockGuitar | Drums: Diederik De Cock