The productions of Lisaboa Houbrechts & Kuiperskaai typically involve a large cast, a vibrant interaction between the visuals and a literary script, and an intelligent cross-fertilization of various disciplines: performance, music, choreography, literature and visual art. Her shows are baroque and brazen but also playful and disarming. This was already discernible in Kuiperskaai’s early work, including De Schepping/The Creation (2013) and The Goldberg Chronicles (2014), which was described as “an immense clash of energies” in the press: “the language is colour, the acting is images, the music is paint”. In 2016, she made a huge impression with her sparking adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale; and in September 2017, the production 1095, based on a text by Victor Lauwers, came out. “Full of spirit and performing pleasure,” wrote Lotte Philipsen in Knack. Lisaboa Houbrechts evokes history and classical repertoire in a ritualistic manner and reveals human nature as a series of passionate urges. This was particularly clear in her idiosyncratic adaptation of Hamlet (which premiered at Love at first Sight #3 in September 2018). Here she focused on the female perspective, placing Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, at the heart of the performance. “Lisaboa Houbrechts makes herself master of Shakespeare’s mythical story with a distinctly modern boisterousness…. She pokes fun at almighty manhood, sympathizes with Gertrude and explicitly takes the side of the women, who are triumphantly depicted as opposed to the masquerade of patriarchy.” (Julien Bécourt in Mouvement)
Lisaboa is currently working on Bruegel, a kaleidoscopic portrait of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the age in which he lived. The figure taking the spectator on a voyage through time is Dulle Griet (Mad Meg), a woman who is jeeringly called a ‘battle-axe’ because she steals objects for the sake of Hell. But what if she isn’t stealing those objects but actually trying to save them? For this theatre piece, Lisaboa Houbrechts works with the Baroque ensemble Harmonia Sacré from northern France, kamancheh player Mostafa Taleb and filmmaker Rand Abou Fakher.
Follow the projects, work process and dialogue of the four P.U.L.S. directors here.