“A gorilla on the roof of the National Bank”, a music theater piece by Dirk Elst, premiered in 2009.

Together with Dirk Elst, Lode Vercampt and me on clarinet “A gorilla on the roof of the National Bank” brought a story that is a cross between a concert and a monologue, a radio play and a performance. Gospel, blues and poetry were interspersed with improvisations.


A radio play from the time when the whole family gathered around the radio. Balancing between seriousness and hilarity, serene and wild. About a gorilla who is visiting the metropolis of man and forcedly climbs the roof of the National Bank. – Dirk Elst



We gave two performances of the Gorilla in 2009 and 2010. But with all the crises developing in the world today, it seems to me that we were ahead of our time. “A gorilla on the roof of the National Bank” was born from the idea that when the last wild gorilla dies, things could end badly for mankind as well. As the gorilla visits the capital of man, to see what has become of our species, the reality he finds defies his imagination. Alienated from himself the gorilla seeks refuge on the roof of the National Bank. The shapes remind him of the high mountains. Below the masses converge and one of their leaders, a man, gives a speech. The speech is surprisingly existential, as if mankind should justify its existence.


Dirk Elst: words & percussion

Lode Vercampt: cello

Koen de Wit: clarinet

A promotional booklet (in Dutch) and DVD containing the premiere are still available for organizations and venues interested in booking “A gorilla on the roof of the National Bank”. Contact me for more information.