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Lisaboa Houbrechts

Lisaboa Houbrechts (b. 1992) obtained her Master’s in Drama from the School of Arts Ghent|KASK Ghent. She writes and directs. Together with Victor Lauwers, Romy Louise Lauwers and Oscar van der Put, she founded Kuiperskaai, an artistic operating base for a range of projects. Houbrechts evokes history and classical repertory in a ritualistic manner and reveals human nature as a series of passionate urges. The members of Kuiperskaai share a great fondness for exuberance, visual expressiveness and musicality, all of which coalesces in sparkling productions like The Winter’s Tale, 1095 and the recent Hamlet: “... the language is the colour, the acting is the picture, the music is the paint”.

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? Besides working with the other members of Kuiperskaai on this total theatre piece, Lisaboa Houbrechts has also called in the Baroque ensemble Harmonia Sacré from northern France, kamancheh player Mostafa Taleb and filmmaker Rand Abou Fakher.

Lisaboa has trained under Alain Platel (Réquiem pour L., together with Fabrizio Cassol) and Jan Lauwers (Al het goede).

Follow the projects, work process and dialogue of the four P.U.L.S. directors here.

Productions from/with ‘Lisaboa Houbrechts’

Hamlet Theatre 22 September 2018 until 18 April 2020

Hamlet

Kuiperskaai / Lisaboa Houbrechts

1095 Theatre 13 September 2017 until 23 January 2020

1095

Kuiperskaai / Lisaboa Houbrechts

Bruegel Theatre 6 December 2019 until 27 May 2020

Bruegel

Lisaboa Houbrechts / Kuiperskaai