Language virtuoso mathematician Jan Beuving rhymes happily about an absurd existence

The family of Jan Beuving (39) will have to work hard for a pleasantSinterklaas evening. The comedian cannot accept that ‘communication’ rhymeswith ‘tail division’. He explains it in his third solo show remainder : withthe first word the stress is on the beginning, so rhyming must be done on boththe first and second syllable. Beuving demonstrates it in a wonderful songfull of rhyme to ‘long division’. An innkeeper getting strangled? Then thereis ‘valuation’. A verse about Saint Nicholas teaches us the word ‘beardcaress’.

The song is characteristic of Beuving’s style: witty, original, linguisticvirtuoso. He became known as the ‘math comedian’ who merged his two educationsinto one profession. And with success, he won the Neerlands Hoop and severalprizes for his song lyrics. Although still a man of theory and science, in histhird solo Beuving moves away from his image and pose as a teacher. Sometimesliterally, for example when he emphatically ventures into a small dance aftera song. Another signal: the somewhat caricatural checked blouse has beenreplaced by a hipper one.

Truth beyond facts

remainder is a tightly structured performance about finding truths outsideof the facts. What is real and what is fake? And what remains after the mostthorough analytical methods? Beuving teaches us: there is always a remainder,just look at long division. In remainder explains to Beuving what that’rest’ entails for him. It results in melancholic stories about faith andamateur football, two important subjects in his life.

Beuving is a great lyricist. He evokes beautiful and strong images especiallyin his songs. For example, about Jamal, a boy from his former football team,to whom you could trust a ball.

Beuving is in remainder more personal than in his previous performances, butdoes not have the maximum effect. His frankness, for example about the role ofreligion in a secular existence, is sometimes hard to grasp. “Rhyme candisguise a lot”, says Beuving himself in a nice joke about the ‘Dansen-metJanssen’ slogan and he proves himself right. Even in songs full of archaicwords and complex sentences, he always finds a (rhymed) way out, but theemotional power of the lyrics sometimes suffers. Beuving’s story often remainssomewhat elusive.

Dead / scrap

This does not alter the fact that remainder is a decent representation. It’snice that Beuving makes no secret of whose shoulders he rests on. A highlightis a tasty story about Jeroen van Merwijk and his song ‘Partycentrum Waselinkin Winterswijk’. Entirely in the style of the late comedian, Beuving paystribute to him in a great song: ‘If only I were dead, no longer riveted tothis earthly scrap. Jeroen van Merwijk waits there and he says not withoutpleasure: see God sitting there, he is almost as good as I am.’