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.

This bleak and glimmering allegory about love and death was the last play the legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes wrote before his death.

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

‘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.

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.

28 February 2018
Prize Cultural Achievement to Viviane De Muynck

On 27 February 2018, Sven Gatz, the Minister of Culture, Youth, Media and Brussels, presented the Ultimas 2017, the Flemish Culture Awards. The Ultimas provide a look back at the numerous efforts and achievements in the cultural sector during the past year. This year, the prize for General Cultural Achievement goes to Viviane De Muynck. Viviane is currently touring in, among other things, War and Turpentine.

Tour dates

December 2018
18 DecWar and turpentineSint-Niklaas
January 2019
23 JanWar and turpentineBrussel
24 JanWar and turpentineBrussel
25 JanWar and turpentineBrussel
29 JanBegin the BeguineBrussel
30 JanBegin the BeguineBrussel
February 2019
01 FebBegin the BeguineAntwerpen
02 FebBegin the BeguineAntwerpen
March 2019
19 MarIsabella's roomAlençon
24 MarThe blind poetRijeka
Tour dates

December 2018
18 DecWar and turpentine
January 2019
23 JanWar and turpentine
24 JanWar and turpentine
25 JanWar and turpentine
29 JanBegin the Beguine
30 JanBegin the Beguine
February 2019
01 FebBegin the Beguine
02 FebBegin the Beguine
March 2019
19 MarIsabella's room
24 MarThe blind poet
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