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Read more about this genre in the essay Theatre in Flanders: powerful plays for all ages, or scroll through our selection of the finest drama texts from Flanders.

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  • Cover of 'Sartre & de Beauvoir'
    Cover of 'Sartre & de Beauvoir'
    Sartre & de Beauvoir
    A refined mix of biographical facts and accessible philosophizing about relationships, sex, politics and society.
    De Volkskrant

    Writer, actor, singer-songwriter and philosopher Stefaan Van Brabandt brings Sartre & de Beauvoir into the limelight. An accessible reflection on two greats of philosophy whose ideas and lives are intertwined for ever. ‘Sartre and de Beauvoir’ distils the two role models of existentialist philosophy to their essence.

  • Cover of the play
    Cover of the play
    A tight and funny play that unerringly rips apart the patriarchal rhetorical conjuring tricks of our politicians and other media personalities
    De Standaard

    ‘Uproar’ manages to capture the debate over feminism in lightning fast and quick-witted dialogues. It is an incisive story with contemporary relevance that feels both absurd and almost alienating at the same time.

  • Brandingen
    ‘Breakers’ is a compact, visually oriented novella with a dash of magic realism.

    Five lifeless bodies wash up on a beach close to a couple’s home, followed not long afterwards by the body of a child. From that moment on, everything between the man and woman who live in the beachside house will be different. Their safe world belongs to the past, now that the refugee issue has disturbed their harmonious world. Torn between guilt and impotence, the man and woman drift further and further apart until their relationship hits the rocks. 

  • Cover of the play
    Cover of the play
    'Swans' is a musical and atmospheric tale about those mysterious but oh so beautiful animals: swans.
    CC De Adelberg

    ‘Swans’ is a moving and imaginative story about daring to dream big and taking the plunge to go look for adventure. And of course it’s a show full of swans. The play is performed by a single actor or actress with musical accompaniment from a string section made up of nine swans.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    A glimpse into the backrooms of diplomacy, the role of women and the subtly shifting power relations.
    De Standaard

    In Willem de Wolf’s theatre text ‘April’, the American ambassador April Glaspie, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and a news anchor revisit events. The subject of this fictitious conversation is that other, historical conversation in the summer of 1990 that nobody wants to talk about.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    We take it from here
    Complex, intriguing, clever, witty, poignant, musical and bitter. In a word, highly recommended.
    De Correspondent

    ’We take it from here’ starts off as a list of things that the actors and characters feel guilty about, ranging from childhood memories, like stealing a Barbie doll, to existential questions about their relationships, the ways in which they have wronged the people they love, or their complicity in current and universal problems such as the refugee crisis.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    The Shell Trial
    Nuyens and De Wit explain in exquisite detail that the climate crisis is primarily a crisis of responsibility at this moment in time.

    In ‘The Shell Trial’ all the different voices can be heard in five monologues: the oil giant’s CEO, the worried citizen, a distraught consumer, the government and the future generations that recently organised a worldwide protest because not enough is being done to tackle the climate crisis.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    This verbal joust remains captivating throughout.
    De Standaard

    Head-on’ is a tragic story with comedic touches that allow playwright Jan Sobrie to keep things light-hearted as the conflict between the two sisters intensifies and culminates in a literal and figurative head-on collision with serious consequences.

  • The Channel
    Unconventional music theatre that boldly opts for simplicity and humour to make a powerful and incisive statement about living with hope in a time of escalating despair.

    The lives of the two main characters in ‘The Channel’ unexpectedly become intertwined. On one side of the Channel, on Calais beach, a refugee is getting ready to make the crossing in search of a new beginning. Across the water, on the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head, trans woman Margaret is about to hurl herself into the sea to end it all. Eventually, their paths cross and life takes an unpredictable turn. This compelling music theatre libretto puts a face to the marginalisation of ‘the other’.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    Salam impresses with this abundance of ideas, artistry and uncomfortable truths. Luckily, the surprisingly heart-warming conclusion calms the overwhelmed spirit down again.

    At a time of worldwide religious conflict between Islam, Judaism and Christendom, ‘Salam’ takes you back to the beginning: the story of Abraham and his sons Isaac and Ishmael. ‘Salam’ is a theatre text about a father who struggles to show love and two brothers who are growing further and further apart because they both want to be recognised as heir. El Azzouzi opts to represent this clash as a humorous and human story about love, jealousy and hurt.

  • Cover of MARX
    Cover of MARX
    The sharpest political theatre I’ve seen for a long time.

    In the theatre monologue ‘MARX’, the elderly philosopher appears onstage once more. What has he been proven right about, and which things did he get wrong? The result is sparkling theatre that is thought-provoking but also funny. A combative and critical defence of freedom and human dignity.

  • Cover of The Wetsuitman
    Cover of The Wetsuitman
    The Wetsuitman
    An intelligent play about the complexity of identity
    De Standaard

    2015. What at first looks like an oil slick close to the cliffs turns out to be a wetsuit. Bones are sticking out of the flippers. Even with the help of the police, nobody is able to identify the corpse. Kicking off like a Scandinavian crime story, ‘The Wetsuitman’ leads from pastiche to a social drama in the ‘jungle’, the refugee camp in Calais.

  • Cover of Deerskin
    Cover of Deerskin
    A view of the world that is as warm-hearted as it is horrifying
    Jury Toneelschrijfprijs

    A pregnant woman fantasizes about the future life of her unborn daughter. One thing is certain: that future will be far from unproblematic. The abstract and poetic ‘Deerskin’ invites us to think about a future in which humans are no longer at the controls.

  • Cover of Who's Afraid?
    Cover of Who's Afraid?
    Who's Afraid?
    A ferociously good performance
    De Volkskrant

    An elderly acting couple take stock of their love for each other and for their profession. All their productions are flops except one: a popular repertory classic about a pair of swearing and hard-drinking intellectuals that brings in money and audiences.

  • Cover of Socrates
    Cover of Socrates
    Topical and relevant

    In Van Brabandt’s monologue, the ancient philosopher is a warm and intelligent man who ponders and debates ideas while the poisoned cup awaits him.

  • Cover Rudy!
    Cover Rudy!
    An impeccably structured, typical 'De Graef narrative' that performs a fine balancing act between philosophy, social critique and pure romanticism.

    Rudy is a philosopher, just like you and me. A man with questions and concerns. Endearing, charming and confrontational. ‘The point is that we’re all trapped but we’re not aware of it,’ he says. Like a mix between a stand-up comedian, a psychiatrist and a philosopher Rudy confronts us with the painful truth. He takes stock of a world that is not doing very well.

  • Cover of Wildekid
    Cover of Wildekid
    Wildekids' biggest trump card is its playful, multi-layered text.

    A bitter-sweet tale of poverty and its presence in the world of two inseparable children. Both heart-warming and heart-rending, with playful humour and plenty of imagination, two fierce firecrackers find each other in a priceless friendship.

  • Cover of Daar gaan we weer
    Cover of Daar gaan we weer
    Here We Go Again (White Male Privilege)
    An intellectual mindfuck
    De Morgen

    The editorial board of Cult Weekly magazine has called a crisis meeting. The image of a black woman on the cover of their latest issue has unleashed a social media storm. How sincere or how arrogant and patronising is their social engagement really?

  • Cover of Unisono/Platina
    Cover of Unisono/Platina
    After this performance, you will feel somewhat revitalized. It is magic.
    Knack Focus

    ‘Unisono’ is an intimate monologue, performed by one actor in a minimalist setting. Whereas ‘Unisono’ tries to find words for loneliness, ‘Platina’ is an equally spare text about two people facing a final goodbye. It is the silence that speaks loudest – even if the woman ultimately breaks it with a veritable deluge of words that seek to express her love and pain.

  • Cover of The Arrival of the Titanic
    Cover of The Arrival of the Titanic
    The Arrival of the Titanic
    Vielen is both a masterful writer and a born story-teller.
    Cutting Edge

    ‘The Arrival of the Titanic’ is an intelligent and astute theatre monologue. On the one hand there is a ship that sinks – an event with clear echoes of the Costa Concordia disaster in 2012. On the other hand, the brief snippets that fit together like a mosaic are about a more metaphorical catastrophe.

  • Cover The Tsar’s Shears
    Cover The Tsar’s Shears
    The Tsar’s Shears
    Darkly aesthetic, wittily absurd, strangely illuminating
    De Bond

    In ‘The Tsar’s Shears’ three people live together in one room, secluded from the outside world. Until one day the tsar emerges from the tube and disrupts the order of their micro society. All of a sudden the rules don’t seem that logical anymore.

  • Cover of Say Hello to the Geese
    Cover of Say Hello to the Geese
    Say Hello to the Geese
    A melancholic, poetic performance that makes both young and old laugh, think, cry and really grabs them. Intense and engaging.

    ‘Say Hello to the Geese’ is a melancholic and poetic performance capable of touching both young and old. The evocative text leaves room for poetry, humour and clowning.

  • Cover of Vanish Beach
    Cover of Vanish Beach
    Vanish Beach
    An astute monument to the dislocation of modern man. A light-hearted yet meaningful portrait of an inscrutable reality.
    Cutting Edge

    The play wants to explore how some of the most famous exiles of the 20th century defended, revised or abandoned their European traditions in their new ‘paradise’. And whether we, in this day and age, could or would mount a similar defence. An exploration of ‘home’ and the idea of feeling displaced in your own home country.

  • Cover of Para
    Cover of Para
    Top-level theatre that explodes your conscience like an expanding bullet.
    Knack Focus

    This monologue is neither an indictment nor a celebration, but instead explores the complex tragedy of international peace operations. It is a tale of idealism and incompetence, of noble objectives and dirty business.

  • Cover of Give Me My Hand Back
    Cover of Give Me My Hand Back
    Give Me My Hand Back
    Maybe this season’s best kept secret
    Jury report Theater Festival

    In a candid conversation, the two characters explore how this new situation can bring them together and how this illness either challenges or strengthens their friendship. Tragicomic, vulnerable and moving – but above all genuine.

  • Poster 'Aperçu de l'inconnu'
    Poster 'Aperçu de l'inconnu'
    Aperçu de l'inconnu
    This is theatre that derives its reason from social maladies while at the same time providing something for the actors to get stuck in and viewing pleasure for the audience.
    Focus Knack

    The police investigation into the Nijvel gang has become a major debacle in Belgian legal history. In the early eighties, a number of savage raids were carried out on supermarkets, with the perpetrators using brute force and shooting several accidental passers-by in cold blood. Thirty years on, the investigation has reached a dead end. Michael Bijnens, known for his research-based plays, spoke to investigators involved in the case and wrote a fascinating piece of theatre.

  • Cover of Borgia
    Cover of Borgia
    The Borgia Trilogy
    As horny as the pope – a new classic tragedy has been written.
    De Morgen

    From their rapid ascent to the top of the Vatican to their downfall: no barbarity or form of nepotism is too cruel for the Borgias. In a strange way the characters become heroic, but on the other hand we must also judge their actions. This paradox gives meaning to the whole trilogy: we love the monster just as we hate it.

  • Cover of OPN. revise the opinion
    Cover of OPN. revise the opinion
    OPN. revise the opinion
    OPN. is a ritualistic performance, a composition in words, pure and simple.

    Moral boundaries are challenged and openly crossed, provoking the audience to agree or disagree with the statements that are being made. Opinions become questions intended to gauge the atmosphere. Strong convictions give way to insecurities, leading the performers to go along with personal attacks and extreme opinions.

  • Cover Greed / Fear / Hope
    Cover Greed / Fear / Hope
    Trilogy: 'Greed' / 'Fear' / 'Hope'
    The striptease of democracy. […] This isn’t even a tragedy any more. This is how things work. Europe.
    De Standaard

    Following years of exponential growth, the economy collapsed in 2008. The stock market crash marked the beginning of a worldwide financial crisis that kept Europe solidly in its grasp. In his trilogy ‘Greed’, ‘Fear’, ‘Hope’, Stijn Devillé fictionalised the events to create a modern, political and economic thriller.

  • Cover Stanley
    Cover Stanley
    Narrative theatre of the most cunning kind. A cracker without frills, but with sequins.
    Focus Knack

    For nearly three years, Henry Morton Stanley chopped a path through a hot and impenetrable African jungle in search of the mouth of the river Congo – without knowing where he was or how much longer it would take. While letting go of the historical figure of Stanley, De Graef retains man’s journey of discovery through the history of our psychology and human-ness.

  • Cover Antigone in Molenbeek
    Cover Antigone in Molenbeek
    Antigone in Molenbeek
    A blend of incisive, sensory perception and condensed poetic speech’

    With ‘Antigone in Molenbeek’ Stefan Hertmans has adapted Sophocles’ tragedy to our contemporary, multicultural society. Antigone is now known as Nouria, a brave young law student from the Brussels district of Molenbeek. Just as in the classic, she wants to pay her last respects to her deceased brother – in Hertmans’ version a suicide bomber – and bury his remains. But the authorities decide otherwise.

  • Cover Waiting and Other Exploits
    Cover Waiting and Other Exploits
    Waiting and Other Heroic Acts
    An aesthetic ‘Waiting for Godot’ for children.

    Four guards are standing in front of a high wall. They are waiting and keeping watch, without knowing why or for how long. Behind the wall is a state secret and everything is suspect, everyone a potential enemy of the state. But everything changes when one of them suddenly disappears and disrupts their unshakable rhythm.

  • Cover BOG
    Cover BOG
    BOG. An attempt at restructuring life
    Everything fits together perfectly in this smart study of life
    De Standaard

    It is the ambition of many plays to get to the essence of human existence. The theatre group BOG take this task very seriously in their self-titled play. What is possible within the short frame of existence, between birth and death?

  • Cover Flou
    Cover Flou
    A gem in every respect
    De Volkskrant

    A woman and a man are standing side by side onstage; in the background the remnants of their living room, cold and bare. Side by side, but not together, they stare into space. Is there not a spark of love or passion left?

  • Photo Us/Them © Bronks
    Photo Us/Them © Bronks
    A remarkable piece of theatre – playful, surprisingly and painfully funny as well as moving
    The Guardian

    1 September 2004. Chechen rebels force their way into a Russian school and hold more than a thousand pupils, teachers and parents hostage inside the gymnasium. Three days later the siege comes to a horrendous conclusion. Two surviving school children try to describe the siege in as much detail as possible to get to grips with the terrible events. But before long, their imagination takes over.

  • Cover of Presentation of an Uncensored Joke Book
    Cover of Presentation of an Uncensored Joke Book
    Presentation of an Uncensored Joke Book
    Rebekka has not written a joke book but an ethical argument that will blow your socks off.

    ‘That’s simply how it works.’ It’s a statement we all get to hear from time to time, or perhaps use ourselves. But it doesn’t satisfy Rebekka de Wit in her ‘Presentation of an Uncensored Joke Book’. An optimistic activist, De Wit expresses the need for a real conversation and an investigation of morality, in order to find a new narrative, or counter-narrative.

  • Cover of Comes On / Goes Off
    Cover of Comes On / Goes Off
    Enters / Exits
    Boon intertwines big stories with very personal events.

    What can pictures tell us about the lives and motives of those depicted in them, or indeed of the person pressing the shutter? Can we even reconstruct a person’s life? 'Comes On / Goes Off’ is a quest to discover the outer limits of stories and storytelling.

  • Cover of Days Without Dates
    Cover of Days Without Dates
    Days Without Dates
    Best theatre of 2015
    war reporter Rudi Vranckx in Humo

    A play about the impact of war on individuals and their environment. In this polyphonic monologue, the author allows us to hear the voices of a range of people affected by recent and less recent conflicts.

  • Cover of Krenz
    Cover of Krenz
    Theatre is rarely as disarming, as sophisticated, as urgent as this.
    Jury report Theaterfestival

    Krenz symbolises a life lived as a runner-up, waiting on the sidelines for one’s moment – a moment that never lives up to long-held expectations. Willem de Wolf links Krenz’s story to his own family history. In this smart, sharp and funny text, De Wolf dissects the frustrations and loneliness that lie behind ambition.

  • Cover Fort Europe. A Canticle of Fragmentation
    Cover Fort Europe. A Canticle of Fragmentation
    Fort Europa. A Canticle of Fragmentation
    Virtuoso writing and an intellectually challenging reflection of our living environment
    De Standaard

    In this polyphonic theatre novella, there are fantasises, speculations and brainstorms in antitheses about the future of Europe. Seven anonymous Europeans tell their stories. Lanoye describes a future Europe that is dominated by dissatisfaction and the longing for a better version of itself.

  • Cover Friday
    Cover Friday
    ‘Friday’ introduced characters who became classics.
    De Volkskrant

    Claus does not shy away from brutality in this piece. In fluent and vivid colloquial language, a mix of words and idioms from the West Flemish dialect and standard Dutch, he delivers a raw story that crossed all boundaries of genre and decency at the time.

  • The Van Paemel Family
    A moving play
    NBD Biblion

    In ‘The Van Paemel Family’, Cyriel Buysse addresses the social exploitation and immense poverty of the rural population. Buysse paints a picture of how the farmer becomes ruined and his family falls apart as a result of socioeconomic conditions. Although Buysse offers no solutions to the conflict, there is still a glimmer of hope.