Following the success of Isabella’s room (2004), which looked at Lauwers’ family history, he is now exploring the history of Hertmans’ family, somewhere between art and war, and in the midst of the Flemish struggle.

Jan Lauwers starts out from the performers’ family trees and is writing a new story based on their various nationalities, cultures and languages.

Laugh and be gentle to the unknown.

‘No one can sustain constant praise of life. Death or, rather, the finiteness of human life deserves a song or a dance too.’

The Band Facing the Wrong Way ignores the wall of the theatre against which it is bellowing. It sings past the wall. Or else it gets through it. Or else the wall moves aside. Or not, and everyone and everything crashes into it. What counts is the effort it takes.

14 January 2019
Grace Ellen Barkey @ Witte de With

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, the director of Witte de With, and Samuel Saelemakers, its curator, have invited Grace Ellen Barkey to add visual and performative content to 'An exhibition with an audio script by Sarah Demeuse and Wendy Tronrud, as well as a soundtrack by Mario García Torres in collaboration with Sol Oosel' (the current exhibition) in February.

Barkey will occupy the third floor, with several installations that invite the viewer to become part of her sense-oriented work. Her installations form a study of the transposition from a space to a narrowness. She has been collecting, photographing and filming flowers, leaves and other flora from her town garden and immediate surroundings. This provides a claustrophobic look at the notion that people are mortal while nature is eternal. Beauty is only appealing when it is transient. Only then does it acquire a history.

The exhibition at the Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam is on from 27 January to 5 May. The interventions by Grace Ellen Barkey will take place on 9 and 10 February.

24 September 2018

On 25 and 26 October 2018, MILL will be hosting EXPLO I, an exclusive two-day event packed with performances, exhibitions and films.

The programme includes a glimpse into the work of artists Emma van der Put, Maarten Seghers, Oscar van der Put, Simon Lenski, Nicolas Rombouts, Lot Lemm, Nicolas Field, Rombout Willems, Maarten Vanden Abeele, Jan Lauwers, Maarten van der Put, Grace Ellen Barkey, Fritz Welch, Benoît Gob, Lisaboa Houbrechts, Victor Lauwers, Romy Louise Lauwers, Lobke Leirens, Seppe Decubber and Maxime Rouquart.

In parallel with EXPLO I, an exhibition of visual work by Jan Lauwers will be opening at the Kusseneers Gallery.

10 September 2018

For this Hamlet, Lisaboa Houbrechts asked the actress Grace Ellen Barkey to play the part of the combative Gertrude. She will make her first appearance in a Kuiperskaai production together with her son Victor Lauwers as Prince Hamlet and her daughter Romy Louise Lauwers as Ophelia. Needcompany is the co-producer.

Hamlet is being produced as part of the P.U.L.S. initiative set up by Toneelhuis to enable talented young theatre-makers to develop towards the larger stage at their own tempo. Several internationally renowned theatre-makers are keeping their eye on their work as discussion partners, including Jan Lauwers.

The premiere is at Toneelhuis on 22 September. It will then tour Belgium, the Netherlands and France. You will find more info and a complete list of performances at

1 May 2018
Malta Festival Poznan

The renowned Malta Festival in the Polish city of Poznań has invited Needcompany to be its curator in 2018. The reduced programme, entitled Cured by Needcompany, includes Maarten Seghers' new production Concert by a Band Facing the Wrong Way, Lemm&Barkey's FOREVER, the English version of War and Turpentine, The Moon by MaisonDahlBonnema, 1095 by Kuiperskaai and Another One by Lobke Leirens and Maxim Storms. The festivities will be attended by Sven Gatz, the Minister of Culture.

Tour dates

March 2019
19 MarIsabella's roomAlençon-Flers
24 MarThe blind poetRijeka
28 MarWar and turpentineMadrid
29 MarWar and turpentineMadrid
April 2019
04 AprWar and turpentineDijon
05 AprWar and turpentineDijon
09 AprWar and turpentineBobigny
10 AprWar and turpentineBobigny
12 AprIsabella's roomBobigny
13 AprIsabella's roomBobigny
Tour dates

March 2019
19 MarIsabella's room
24 MarThe blind poet
28 MarWar and turpentine
29 MarWar and turpentine
April 2019
04 AprWar and turpentine
05 AprWar and turpentine
09 AprWar and turpentine
10 AprWar and turpentine
12 AprIsabella's room
13 AprIsabella's room
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