PERFORMING ARTS Writing & Directing
SIMPLE AS ABC
2015 - ...
Simple as ABC is a growing series of performances and installations that scrutinise the apparatus of European ‘mobility management’. Following a theatrical audio essay about cutting edge detection technology and a documentary musical about the digitisation of the EU border, Thomas Bellinck is now working on a performative installation about humanhunting.
different Simple as ABC installments are being / have been produced / co-produced by Dream City/L’Art Rue (Tunis), Fast Forward Festival/Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), De Grote Post (Ostend), Kaaitheater, Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), NONA (Mechelen), OP.RECHT.MECHELEN and ROBIN (Brussels) the research for Simple as ABC is / has been supported by The Camargo Foundation (Cassis), Dream City/L'Art Rue (Tunis), De Grote Post (Ostend), KASK/School of Arts of University College Ghent, KVS (Brussels), LabexMed/Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme (Marseille), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), ROBIN (Brussels), The Flemish Government and The Flemish Community of Brussels
DE BEVRIJDING VAN HET EDELHERT
(The Liberation of the Red Deer)
Invited by youth theatre hetpaleis, Thomas Bellinck and Khalid Koujili El Yakoubi are collaborating on their first performance for a young audience. Theater maker and author Pieter De Buysser is writing a beast fable for a wild bunch of actors.
De bevrijding van het edelhert paints an absurdly humorous and painfully recognisable picture of an Ardennes forest where not every animal is equally welcome. Where fences are being erected in a hurry and where providing assistance to undesirable animals is punishable by caging.
Ages 9 years and up.
co-directing Thomas Bellinck & Khalid Koujili El Yakoubi text Pieter De Buysser performance Marjan De Schutter, Farbod Fathinejad, Maya Mertens, Ahilan Ratnamohan, Karlijn Sileghem, Jeroen Van der Ven scenography Stef Stessel costumes Rachid Laachir
with the support of Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government: Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter Empowered by Belfius/Isabelle Molhant.
APERÇU DE L'INCONNU
2015 / KVS
This is a play that draws its necessity from social abscesses, yet fills both its performers and the audience with joy. Perfect theatre about the sorrowful imperfection of man. - Focus Knack
The theatre-maker Michael Bijnens recently made his debut as a writer with the book Cinderella, in which he writes of opening a brothel together with his mother. For Aperçu de l’inconnu he allowed himself to be infected by the greatest judicial abscess in Belgian history: the case of the Brabant Killers. On the basis of conversations with detectives, he, together with the director Thomas Bellinck, actor Willy Thomas and designer Michiel Voet, has composed a labyrinthine panorama of the unknown and they go in search of the cop behind the monumental failure of the investigation.
author Michael Bijnens actor Willy Thomas director Thomas Bellinck scenography Michiel Voet assistant director and surtitling Inge Floré stage master Jean Schols sound Steven Lorie light design Geert Drobé costumes Heidi Ehrhart interaction of the set with the actor Jean Schols, Willy Van Barel, Pablo Perez set construction Simon Callens, Thomas Ebraert, Patrick Nys, Anaïs Thomas, Danny Vandeput, Julien Vergieu French translation Anne Vanderschueren English translation Gregory Ball production KVS thanks to Aurelie Di Marino, Hilde Geens, all those detectives who assisted us in the research for this production
2015 / Steigeisen & KVS
Memento Park is a wry statement, performed with a comical twist and - like every Steigeisen production - it impresses the spectator due to its strong contents and its sense of urgency. - Knack
This is political theatre of the highest degree. A performance like a bazooka. - De Wereld Morgen
For the centenary celebration of the ‘Great War’, Flanders has spared no pains or expense. However, ‘the war to end all wars’ did not keep its promise. Far from it. Since then, things have gone from each armistice to the next world conflagration. What then, is there to commemorate, and why?
On the basis of quotes from politicians, re-enactors and marketers, Steigeisen exposes the mechanism behind the centenary celebrations: the link between remembrance, politics, tourism and big business.
director Thomas Bellinck actors Marjan De Schutter, Joris Hessels, Robin Keyaert, Karlijn Sileghem, Jeroen Van der Ven, Mark Verstraete set design Stef Stessel costumes An Breugelmans, Heidi Ehrhart dramaturgy Sébastien Hendrickx lighting Dimitri Stuyven sound Donald Berlanger stage master Jean Schols technician Jimmy De Boelpaep set Jan Beeck, Patrick Nys, Danny Vandeput props Willy Van Barel surtitling Inge Floré translation Anne Vanderschueren, Gregory Ball production KVS & Steigeisen copresentation KVS & Théâtre National
LE DÉBUT DE LA FIN EST TOUJOURS DISCRET
2013 / GC De Maalbeek & KVS
In Le Début de la fin est toujours discret several inhabitants of the Brussels European Quarter cross paths at peculiar moments with far-reaching consequences. A theatrical community project dealing with migration and the end of Europe, based on conversations and improvisations.
director Thomas Bellinck actors Marie B. Bouillon, Katarina Nemeth, Hossein Fazeli, Farideh Ghalandari, Mikaela Gandolfo, Alice Reiter, Paulo Variz music Geert Dehertefelt, Stelian lighting Godfried Verschaffel production GC De Maalbeek, KVS with the support of Cultuurcentrum Brussel, Tok Toc Knock, Zaman-Nou
2012 / Steigeisen & KVS
A theatrical ‘image relay’ or else a grotesque, uncommonly intelligent and inventive retelling of one of the greatest stories in Western history. - Knack
A colourful examination of the slippery phenomenon that is revolution. - De Morgen
A monologue, performed almost searingly by the born actor Jeroen Van der Ven. Essential theatre. - Zone 02
De Onkreukelbare is an accumulation of visual and verbal time bombs which together highlight one of the most significant turning points in Western history, the French Revolution.
Thomas Bellinck and Jeroen Van der Ven took their inspiration from the controversial figure Maximilien de Robespierre, the visionary statesman and self-proclaimed pacifist who helped send thousands of people to the guillotine in the most turbulent days of the revolution. The result is an ingeniously visualised exploration of how rebellions germinate, go off the rails and are commemorated.
director Thomas Bellinck actor Jeroen Van der Ven light / technical director Lilith Tremmery scenography Stef Stessel dramaturgy Sébastien Hendrickx stage master Catherine Vervaecke sound Donald Berlanger props Willy Van Barel surtitling Inge Floré translation Anne Vanderschueren set Jan Beeck, Roger Campens, Patrick Nys, Herwig Popieul, Marcel Thumas wig Annie Vermeiren costumes Claudine Bogemans production KVS & Steigeisen with the support of the Flemish government
2011 / Steigeisen & De Werf
The Steigeisen duo is the new revelation amongst young theatre collectives. Thomas Bellinck and Jeroen Van der Ven have a well-constructed story, unique acting talent and an intense awareness of form... together it results in one of the most remarkable productions of the season: proof of a new rising star. - De Standaard
SELECTED FOR HET THEATERFESTIVAL 2011
Smartly dressed and with a thermos flask within reach, Steigeisen takes you on an industrial search to ever more scientific and more human execution methods. From the gallows, to the electric chair, to the gas chamber, to the lethal injection machine and back, Lethal Inc. opens the doors to a shadowy business sector that elevates the grotesquely abnormal to normality and routine.
For Lethal Inc. Steigeisen revisits the source material for Leuchter, the monologue that won Jeroen Van der Ven the Young Theatre Award at TAZ 2008.
director Thomas Bellinck actors Joris Hessels, Jeroen Van der Ven set design Geert Vandewalle sound & lighting Frédéric Aelterman, Lilith Tremmery, Nico Vanderostyne, Geert Vandewalle production De Werf & Steigeisen
BILLY, SALLY, JERRY AND THE .38 GUN
2010 / Steigeisen & KVS
Add Bellinck’s smart, incisive script and the powerful, intimate acting of the three performers, and this disarming performance makes you realise that we could use a lot more of this dramatised documentary theatre here in Flanders. - De Standaard
Thomas Bellinck's refreshing script does credit to the complexity of the tragicomic characters... a clever montage. - Cobra.be
September 22, 1975. The sun blazes over San Francisco. On the pavement in front of the St. Francis Hotel the excited crowd eagerly awaits the arrival of Gerald Ford, the 38th leader of the Free World. Nobody notices the woman who tries to push her way to the front, carrying within her purse an old revolver, tucked away between her chewing gum and a couple of starched handkerchiefs.
Billy, Sally, Jerry and the .38 gun zooms in on an almost forgotten event in recent American history when politics, terrorism and the Gay Rights Movement unexpectedly collided.
director Thomas Bellinck actors Karlijn Sileghem, Willy Thomas, Jeroen Van der Ven, Isabelle Van Hecke lighting Brecht Beuselinck, Dimitri Stuyven sound Brecht Beuselinck, Max Stuurman surtitling Inge Floré hair Annie Vermeiren costumes Claudine Bogemans production KVS & Steigeisen with the support of the Flemish government
HUNGER STRIKERS SING THE BELGIAN ANTHEM IN THE THREE NATIONAL LANGUAGES
2009 / RITS, KVS, BRUSSELS ASYLUM & MIGRATION FORUM
SELECTED FOR HET THEATERFESTIVAL 2009
In the winter of 2009 a new wave of illegalized migrants' occupations and hunger strikes hit the capital of Belgium. All over Brussels immigrants without (European) papers occupied University gyms, churches and even subterranean parking lots, denouncing the ongoing political crisis with its far-reaching consequences for their precarious situation and demanding the execution of the long-overdue coalition agreement, which had promised them, amongst others, a government circular with transparent regularization criteria. At a time when cherishing the Belgian national identity had become an almost subversive action, these people were begging and praying to become Belgian.
Right in front of the theatre where Belgian independence once germinated, Thomas Bellinck invited a choir of hunger strikers to sing the forgotten Belgian anthem in the three national languages. On top of a shipping container the forgotten anthem stirred up from new voices.
director Thomas Bellinck choir Bader, Rachid, Mourad, Abdoulkarim, Patrick, Ibrahima, Rachid, Francis, Constance music Arne Leurentop with the support of Hendrik De Smedt, RITS, KVS, Brussels Asylum & Migration Forum
2009 / Steigeisen, RITS, TAZ & Nadine
Fobbit's strength lies in its visual power, which is seldom seen in young artists, and the reality of war, which speaks from the testimonies. - De Standaard
A mosaic of stories, glued together by Van der Ven's intense performance and the overpowering scenography. - De Morgen
For Fobbit, Van der Ven and Bellinck interviewed soldiers and a war correspondent. These interviews form the backbone for a documentary production about the specific situation of Belgian soldiers in Afghanistan.
What happens to professionals who are intensively trained to do something that they will not be allowed to do? What happens if, after years of training, you reach a state of physical and mental ultra-alertness and are prepared to shoot with real bullets, but you ultimately get placed in a conflict zone where "resolution," "diplomacy" and "reconstruction" end up being the key words? What happens if your long-anticipated contribution to the conflict is limited to bearing the burden of the consequences, in a time in which the absurdity of war has made itself subtly useful as a means of peacekeeping?
director Thomas Bellinck actor Jeroen Van der Ven coach Willy Thomas lighting Tom Derycke, Anne Straetmans, Thomas Vermaercke sound / pyrotechnics Elias Eeraerts, Lukas Verbrugge production RITS, TAZ, Nadine & Steigeisen
HEROES AND VILLAINS
2009 / RITS & Louvain Auxiliary Prison
A performance, inspired by the music of the Beach Boys, created together with the inmates of the Louvain Auxiliary Prison, the rehearsal process of which was captured in the Woestijnvis documentary TV series Leuven Hulp.
directors Thomas Bellinck, Ewout D'Hoore actors inmates of the Louvain Auxiliary Prison coach Frédérique Lecomte music coach Rik Debonne lighting, sound & set Lilith Tremmery, Klaas Trekker