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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? 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.

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


Kuiperskaai / Lisaboa Houbrechts

1095 Theatre 13 September 2017 until 23 January 2020


Kuiperskaai / Lisaboa Houbrechts

Nieuws over ‘Lisaboa Houbrechts’

Article — 3 December 2019

"Sometimes you’re more courageous in your work than in real life"

With Bruegel, Lisaboa Houbrechts has made her most personal theatre piece to date. She examines the mythological, symbolic and historical significance of the figure of Dulle Griet (Mad Meg) and reduces her to a vulnerable icon who doubts her import as a woman. As a result, Bruegel’s famous hellcat speaks words that Houbrechts could never find before.
Here is an interview that appeared in the Flemish newspaper De Morgen on 6 December.

Article — 24 September 2019

P.U.L.S. in Paris!

The Théâtre de la Bastille in Paris has followed Flemish theatre for over thirty years. Toneelhuis was a guest there with Orlando in 2013 and again in 2015 with Bezonken rood. Fascinated by the vitality of Flemish theatre, the Théâtre de la Bastille is now following the P.U.L.S. project and presenting it to its audience.


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