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Toneelhuis, Lisaboa Houbrechts

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Dulle Griet takes you on a trip through time. A kaleidoscopic portrait of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the era in which he painted her. 

After the daring 1095 (2017) and the controversial Hamlet (2018), Lisaboa Houbrechts is again plunging into history with Bruegel.

1095 took us to the dark world of the Crusades, while the loose adaptation of Hamlet was a surprising family portrait, sometimes intimate, other times frenzied. Lisaboa always challenges her performers to adopt varied styles of playing that are allowed to grate and clash.

With Bruegel, Lisaboa Houbrechts has written a kaleidoscopic portrait of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the era in which he created Dulle Griet. In this production, the character taking the viewer on a trip through time is Dulle Griet, a woman who is denigrated as a ‘battle-axe’ because she supposedly steals objects for hell. But what if she is not stealing those objects but actually trying to save them? Lisaboa Houbrechts’ narrative is based on those lost objects.

Bruegel is performed by a magnificent cast consiting of Rand Abou Fakher, Louise Bergez, Lobke Leirens, Romy Louise Lauwers, Andrew Van Ostade, who plays Pieter Bruegel, and Anne-Laure Vandeputte in the role of Dulle Griet (Mad Meg). 

Late-medieval madrigals, sung by the French polyphonic ensemble Harmonia Sacra, establish a connection with the compositions of kamancheh player Mostafa Taleb. 

_ _ _ _ 

Lisaboa Houbrechts:
“Stories about our history are hidden behind closed doors. They have been manipulated, rubbed out, forgotten or reduced to a clear and simple event. With Bruegel, therefore, I am building a big web around a number of hypothetical objects that have come down to us from the Low Lands, a region which at the time was torn by religious conflict, famine and the slow eruption of the Little Ice Age. I take a specific look at Bruegel’s work, the relation between the personal, the political and the Golden Age – an era that rose up like a tidal wave and dramatically splashed down further ahead.”

"In Bruegel, Lisaboa Houbrechts pulls out all the stops: this is visually stunning theatre packed with a wealth of ideas." 

Evelyne Coussens in De Morgen , 6 December 2019

"If Bruegel has a single “message”, it’s not so much about feminism or women’s rights as about keeping open the possibility of “switching”, of flexibility that goes far beyond the topic of male and female. And what especially encourages this mental straddle is the “fluid aesthetic”."

Evelyne Coussens in Etcetera , 22 January 2020


text and direction

  • Lisaboa Houbrechts


  • Rand Abou Fakher
  • Louise Bergez
  • Romy Louise Lauwers
  • Lobke Leirens
  • Andrew Van Ostade
  • Anne-Laure Vandeputte

directing assistance, dramaturgy

  • Pauwel Hertmans


  • Mostafa Taleb (kamancheh, compositie)
  • Harmonia Sacra: Jérôme Bertier (orgel, klavecimbel, improvisatie)
  • Florent Baffi (zang)
  • Capucine Meens (zang)
  • Stéphanie Révillion (zang)


  • Oscar van der Put


  • Kasia Mielczarek

light design

  • Oscar van der Put
  • Carlo Bourguignon
  • Diederik Suykens

production management

  • Celine van der Poel
  • Kristien Borgers

technical production management, light

  • Diederik Suykens


  • Paul Van Caudenberg


  • P.U.L.S. - Project for Upcoming Artists for the Large Stage
  • Toneelhuis
  • Kuiperskaai

developed in

  • Co-Labo


  • Le Phénix, Scène nationale de Valenciennes
  • Needcompany
  • La Villette, Paris

thanks to

  • LLS Paleis ruimte voor actuele kunst

with the support of

  • Tax Shelter maatregel v/d Belgische Federale Overheid
  • Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter powered by Belfius
  • culturele samenwerking Vlaamse Gemeenschap en Regio Hauts-de-France

All data

  1. Thursday 23 June 2022 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  2. Friday 24 June 2022 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  3. Saturday 25 June 2022 — 19h00 — La Villette, Paris
  1. Friday 6 December 2019 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  2. Saturday 7 December 2019 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  3. Sunday 8 December 2019 — 15h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  4. Thursday 19 December 2019 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  5. Friday 20 December 2019 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  6. Saturday 21 December 2019 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  7. Wednesday 15 January 2020 — 20h00 — CC De Werf, Aalst, Aalst
  8. Tuesday 4 February 2020 — 20h00 — Cultuurcentrum Brugge, Brugge
  9. Tuesday 18 February 2020 — 20h00 — KVS - BOL, Brussel
  10. Thursday 20 February 2020 — 20h00 — NTGent - schouwburg, Gent
  11. Cancelled: Thursday 26 March 2020 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  12. Cancelled: Friday 27 March 2020 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  13. Cancelled: Saturday 28 March 2020 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  14. Cancelled: Monday 6 April 2020 — 19h30 — Grote zaal ITA, Amsterdam
  15. Cancelled: Thursday 16 April 2020 — 20h00 — De Grote Post, Oostende
  16. Cancelled: Wednesday 27 May 2020 — 20h00 — 30CC, Leuven
  17. Cancelled: Friday 27 November 2020 — 18h00 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  18. Cancelled: Tuesday 11 May 2021 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  19. Cancelled: Wednesday 12 May 2021 — 20h00 — La Villette, Paris
  20. Cancelled: Friday 14 May 2021 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  21. Cancelled: Saturday 15 May 2021 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  22. Tuesday 28 September 2021 — 20h00 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  23. Wednesday 29 September 2021 — 20h00 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  24. Tuesday 26 October 2021 — 20h00 — 30CC, Leuven
  25. Wednesday 17 November 2021 — 20h00 — Théâtre la Vignette, Montpellier
  26. Thursday 18 November 2021 — 19h15 — Théâtre la Vignette, Montpellier
  27. Cancelled: Tuesday 15 March 2022 — 19h30 — ITA, Rabozaal, Amsterdam
  28. Tuesday 17 May 2022 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen

News about ‘Bruegel’

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

P.U.L.S. in Paris! 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.


Comments (1)

Iris — 9 December 2019


Graag zou ik een ticketje kopen voor Bruegel op 21/12. Kan ik met kansentarief beter langskomen om een ticket te kopen?

Alvast bedankt!

Vriendelijke groeten,

Toneelhuis — 9 December 2019

Beste Iris, je kan dit inderdaad enkel via de ticketbalie bestellen, telefonisch op 03/224 88 44 of aan de balie tussen 10u en 17u.
Beste groet namens Toneelhuis

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