2020 From Antwerp to Antwerp via Minsk

From Antwerp to Antwerp via Minsk


It’s been a while since we were last in contact but there is a good reason why I write to you today with a straightforward question.

I recently received an invitation from TEART festival in Minsk to perform my theatre show Song for Gigi (detailed information below and attached) in the next TEART edition in September 2020.

I would like to say yes to this invitation.
However, the distance between my home base Antwerp and Minsk is some 2000km and my crew and me do not travel by flights, never, no exceptions made, not even for a tempting invitation like this one. Instead, we choose to do our travels slowly, usually by train. In this case however, we would like to drive all the way to Minsk, transporting the set and crew in one vehicle on the condition that we can make 3 extra stops along the way. 

Touring my work is very important for me as a theatre maker and performer, although not at every cost. Ecological considerations are a driving force in questioning my ways of producing and of showing my work. My practice has evolved because of this, towards smaller works that can escape the common conditions and expectations of touring and the underlying assumption one should be able to show one’s work at any given time, at any given place. From this perspective, it is clear that unless we can present Song for Gigi (detailed information below and attached) in 3 extra venues/festivals along the road to or from Minsk, the whole venture From Antwerp to Antwerp via Minsk would be an irrational and irresponsible undertaking in terms of production and sustainability. 
So, we wondered, would it be possible to convince at least 3 programmers with venues or festivals along the way between Antwerp and Minsk to present Song for Gigi in mid september 2020? Is it possible to establish an exchange on this, and reach an outcome even this last-minute (to regular standards)?  

As such, this has become an investigation which we want to include you in. Hence my question to you: Would you consider showing Song for Gigi to your audience next September and give your support to an alternative way of touring? And, if you share and support this perspective, would you be willing to contribute to this investigation on how to make this possible, for instance by involving other programmers or sharing this request with colleagues of yours that might be supportive of this idea in other cities and venues along the way? 
Even if you see no possibility of becoming one of the three stops along the way, it would be very appreciated if you would collaborate to our research, by responding with your thoughts on the matter. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon,
Many thanks in advance for your kind collaboration, 


2019 Nest 2019 Grand Hornu

Nest 2019 Grand Hornu

In Requiem for a Species, Clive Hamilton writes:

“if you have your head in the oven and your feet in the freezer
your average temperature may be unchanged but you are still pretty uncomfortable”


New work for the exhibition Nature Morte/Nature Vivante, on view from
23 November (opening) – 8 March 2019 in CID Grand-Hornu, Mons (B).
along with works by Alexi Williams Wynn, Andrea Branzi, Ani Liu, Diana Scherer, Erez Nevi Pana, Formafantasma, Gabriel Rico, Lilla Tabasso, Lois Weinberger, Maarten Vanden Eynde, et al.

2019 AREN (publication)

Benjamin Verdonck


Script of the recent theatre performance Aren

Published by Bebuquin & Toneelhuis
Languages  NL, ENG
ISBN 9789075175769
Price 10,00 euro


On 10 January 2019, Aren premiered in the Bourla
Theatre in Antwerp. The title refers to the gleaner
who walks behind the harvesters and picks up the
remaining gleanings on the field. There are two parts
to the show. In the first, I present found objects in
constantly changing arrangements. In the second part,
I read a list of unrealized ideas to the audience. This
book comprises the script of the second part.

On 10 January 2019, a large group of school kids
gathered in Brussels for the first time to express their
concern about the inevitable changes to the climate.
This event made my story of an unrealized idea for a
workshop with children rather special that evening. As
I write this now, the elections are behind us. Yet those
who were elected still show no sign that limiting this
catastrophe is in any way a priority.

Benjamin Verdonck, June 2019


On sale in the Toneelhuis bookshop
or at an upcoming Aren performance


More publications:
Kalender09 (2014)
werk/some work (2008)
even i must understand it (2017)
kapellen (2019)

kapellen (edition)

Benjamin Verdonck


for sale on 19 October at Antwerp Academy Art Book Fair
and on 25 & 26 October in V36
for the occasion of vier keer verdonck


box of 24 small works by Benjamin Verdonck
200 copy limited edition
the first 100 copies are signed and numbered by the artist

Published by Toneelhuis
Languages  NL
ISBN 9789076734347
Price 25.00 euro


“In the summer of 2016, four families, including mine, moved out of Antwerp to the rural town of Kapellen. This move took away the daily stimulus I used to get from what I came across in the city streets. Now our living room is my studio. This edition is a compilation of small works, taken from a series that I started making since then and reveals my attempt to shift focus from the streets towards what is going on around my worktable.”

Part of this Kapellen series was seen in AREN, my show which premiered on 10 January 2019 at the Bourla Theatre in Antwerp. The title refers to the gleaner who walks behind the harvesters and picks up the remaining gleanings on the field. There are two parts to the show. In the first, I present found objects in constantly changing arrangements. In the second part, I read a list of unrealized ideas to the audience.
This edition presents a selection from one of the collections I used in the first part.
The script of AREN was published by Bebuquin in the Toneelhuis series.

See also:



On sale in the Toneelhuis bookshop
or at an upcoming Aren performance


More publications:
Kalender09 (2014)
werk/some work (2008)
even i must understand it (2017)
AREN (2019)

2019 Waldeinsamkeit



generally translated as ‘the deep connection you feel when walking alone in the forest’, this word also stands for a feeling of insecurity in a dark and unpredictable space.

A room turns into a room
turns into a room
turns into a black hole,
an overripe piece of fruit.

A baroque miniature with faded colours, little hatches that open and close, light, darkness and a whole lot of strings. This cabinet of curiosities is the newest addition to Verdonck’s series of table-size mobile theatres.

Created by Benjamin Verdonck and Lucas Van Haesbroeck


26.01.2020 — 14:00 l 14:45 l 15:30 l 19:45 l 20:30 — International Film Festival Rotterdam


More info: www.toneelhuis.be

2019 Aren


“Why create a work of art when dreaming about it is so much sweeter?”
(Il Decameron, Pasolini)

– Aren – ‘gleaning’; which also means ‘harvest’ and ‘yield’

A gleaner walks behind the harvesters and picks up the gleanings that are still lying on the field. When creating new work, more than one idea remains unused.

A tunnel from the National Bank to the florist’s across the street,
a boat on the rooftop of a building,
a collection of rat traps that don’t work,
and one of leaky footballs,
a theatre piece that never starts in which you die a hundred times,
a fox made of cardboard.

Could I put these things next to each other such that something does happen?
Something I couldn’t have come up with myself?

tunnel football fox
fox football tunnel
fox tunnel fox football fox fox


Upcoming dates 2019-2020:

29.11.2019 — 20:00 — Theater Kikker, Utrecht
11.12.2019 — 20:00 — CC Kruisboog Tienen

Dates 2019:

06.09.2019 — 20:00 — Schouwburg Rotterdam
07.09.2019 — 20:00 — Minard Gent (Het TheaterFestival)
08.09.2019 — 20:00 — Minard Gent (Het TheaterFestival)
10.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen Première
12.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
13.01.2019 — 15:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
15.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
16.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
17.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
18.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
19.01.2019 — 20:00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
22.01.2019 — 20:00 — cultuurcentrum Hasselt, Hasselt
24.01.2019 — 20:30 — De NWE vorst, Tilburg
31.01.2019 — 20:00 — Kaaitheater, Kaaistudio’s Brussel
02.02.2019 — 20:00 — Kaaitheater, Kaaistudio’s Brussel
06.02.2019 — 20:00 — Campo, Gent
07.02.2019 — 20:00 — Campo, Gent
08.02.2019 — 20:00 — Campo, Gent
27.02.2019 — 20:00 — De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
28.02.2019 — 20:00 — De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
01.03.2019 — 20:00 — De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
02.03.2019 — 20:00 — De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
31.03.2019 — 15:00 — 30CC, Leuven



More info: www.toneelhuis.be


2019 Liedje voor Gigi

Liedje voor Gigi (Song for Gigi)

A bunch of magic boxes,
stars, music, a house,
doors that open and close again.

“The unresolved tension between the charm of the miniature theatre and stories about the slow disaster of growing up in a confusing world makes Liedje voor Gigi deeply moving.” (Pieter T’Jonck in De Morgen, 22 January 2018)


28.09.2019 — 19:00 — L’échangeur / Grande salle – Château-Thierry (FR)
14.11.2019 — 20:00 — CC Ter Dilft, Bornem
02.04.2020 — 20:00 — Tweetakt Festival, Utrecht (NL)


More info: www.toneelhuis.be

2016 De tijger eet de zebra en de vogel vliegt verschrikt weg

De tijger eet de zebra en de vogel vliegt verschrikt weg
(The tiger eats the zebra and the bird, alarmed, takes off)

Premiere on 20 February 2020

I am planning to make
a big planetarium out of tape, wire and cardboard
in which not only stars and planets will fly by
but also a few objects and animals
and who knows, maybe even a real human being

because it used to be possible to distinguish
the activities of human beings
from the rest
without much difficulty
just like in theatre
where you can forget about
the building and the wings
in order to concentrate on the intrigue

but nowadays the set, the wings,
the back stage, the fly tower, the entire building
has climbed onto the stage and is contesting
the actor’s leading role.

we are gradually realizing
that we cannot go on like this
but then how?
because taking a different road
within the bounds of our present system
invariably means
going backwards
and we will not garner much enthusiasm
with the prospect of less

we should no longer think about progress
but something like prosperity
… ”


a peep show
of the whole wide world
a big magic box
an opening dance

a human being an animal an object
side by side
an animal an object
an object a human being an animal
side by side

a last waltz
a room, another room
a tunnel, a narrow vista, a hole
a door
of course also a door
hatches that open and shut, colours that glide by,
surfaces that disappear
and strings, always strings

becoming a shape, a line, a point, a colour
becoming change,
hesitating, halting, starting over
becoming everything
we are the world we are the world we are the world

the show is a sad song
about human beings and the things that surround them
although the moon
(which also plays a role)
remains quite indifferent to it all


Tour dates 2020 here
Read more here