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Guy Cassiers, Toneelhuis, Maud Le Pladec, Bachelor dans Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen AP Hogeschool, CNSMD Lyon

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Nobel prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek wrote Die Schutzbefohlenen in 2013 as a reaction to the ever more harrowing refugee problem in Europe. Two years before the refugee crisis broke out in earnest, she wrote this play, which she continues to fill out and update with commentaries on her personal website. For Jelinek, the refugee is the perfect figure for examining the situation that Europe is in today and discussing standards and values, the place of religion, and the responsibility of politics.

Referring to the title and theme of the classic play The Suppliants by Aeschylus (in German Die Schutzflehenden), she gives the asylum seekers a voice and with her mordant pen exposes the cynicism and latent racism in European politics. Her script has proved more than prophetic: years before the actual events, she brought to life all the images which are now burned on our retinas, from washed up children’s bodies to grim refrigerated lorries.


The main character of Jelinek’s plays seems to be language itself. What she writes are ‘blocks of text’ which a director can freely assign to various actors. There are no real characters as such. Jelinek is less interested in classical dialogue than in the choral passages and messengers’ announcements that she finds in Greek tragedies. For the greater part of the script, the refugees speak, but the perspective also sometimes switches to that of the fearful white European, when the subconscious elements of society come out in often aggressive language. It is as if Jelinek is putting capitalistic society on the psychotherapy couch and simply letting it speak its mind. In that flood of words we not only recognize references to great world literature but also to popular clichés and prejudices.


Guy Cassiers sets to work on Jelinek’s indictment as part of a two-part production about the migration problem. He juxtaposes the poetical, subdued, but no less moving Monsieur Linh and His Child (Philippe Claudel) with the aggression and verbal anger of Grensgeval.


Guy Cassiers is making the show with four actors and with dance students from the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp.  


Dancers in Belgium, The Netherlands, Avignon (FR), Girona (ES)

Samuel Baidoo, Machias Bosschaerts, Pieter Desmet, Sarah Fife, Berta Fornell Serrat, Julia Godina Llorens, Aki Iwamoto, Daan Jaarsveld, Levente Lukacs, Hernan Manchebo Martinez, Alexa Moya Panksep, Marcus Alexander Roydes, Meike Stevens, Pauline Van Nuffel, Sandrine Wouters, Bianca Zueneli


Dancers in Orléans (FR), Valenciennes (FR), Mulhouse (FR):

Laura Anglade, Nina Barbé, Lily Brieu, Mélen Cazenave, Romane Piffaut, Kostia Choix, Gaspard Charon, Pierre Chauvin-Brunet, Guillaume Forestier, Bastien Gache, Valentin Henri, Franck Sammartano

Grensgeval (Borderline) is part of Beyond Borderproject of different Toneelhuis makers on the subject of migration.



  • Guy Cassiers


  • Dina Dooreman


  • Elfriede Jelinek


  • Tom Kleijn


  • Abke Haring
  • Han Kerckhoffs
  • Katelijne Damen
  • Sanne Samina Hanssen
  • Lukas Smolders

light design

  • Fabiana Piccioli

video design

  • Frederik Jassogne

sound design

  • Diederik De Cock


  • Maud Le Pladec

costume and set design

  • Tim Van Steenbergen


  • Toneelhuis


  • CDN Orléans
  • Festival d'Avignon
  • La Filature, Mulhouse
  • Le Phénix, Scène nationale de Valenciennes
  • CCNO - Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans
  • Scène nationale d'Orléans

in collaboration with

  • Bachelor dans Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen AP Hogeschool
  • CNSMD Lyon

All data

Er zijn geen aankomende activiteiten voor dit event.

  1. Saturday 29 April 2017 — 14h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  2. Thursday 4 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  3. Saturday 6 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  4. Sunday 7 May 2017 — 16h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  5. Tuesday 9 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  6. Wednesday 10 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  7. Thursday 11 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  8. Friday 12 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  9. Saturday 13 May 2017 — 21h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  10. Friday 19 May 2017 — Stadsschouwburg Groningen, Groningen
  11. Wednesday 24 May 2017 — CC Kortrijk, Kortrijk
  12. Saturday 27 May 2017 — Parktheater, Eindhoven
  13. Tuesday 30 May 2017 — Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht
  14. Thursday 1 June 2017 — Kaaitheater, Brussel
  15. Friday 2 June 2017 — Kaaitheater, Brussel
  16. Wednesday 7 June 2017 — Koninklijke Schouwburg Den Haag, Den Haag
  17. Thursday 22 June 2017 — Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam
  18. Tuesday 18 July 2017 — Parc des Expositions, Avignon
  19. Wednesday 19 July 2017 — Parc des Expositions, Avignon
  20. Thursday 20 July 2017 — Parc des Expositions, Avignon
  21. Saturday 22 July 2017 — Parc des Expositions, Avignon
  22. Sunday 23 July 2017 — Parc des Expositions, Avignon
  23. Monday 24 July 2017 — Parc des Expositions, Avignon
  24. Wednesday 20 September 2017 — Grote zaal ITA, Amsterdam
  25. Thursday 21 September 2017 — Grote zaal ITA, Amsterdam
  26. Thursday 5 October 2017 — Centre Dramatique National/Théâtre d'Orléans, Orléans
  27. Friday 6 October 2017 — Centre Dramatique National/Théâtre d'Orléans, Orléans
  28. Saturday 7 October 2017 — Centre Dramatique National/Théâtre d'Orléans, Orléans
  29. Thursday 12 October 2017 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  30. Friday 13 October 2017 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  31. Wednesday 18 October 2017 — La Filature, Mulhouse
  32. Thursday 19 October 2017 — La Filature, Mulhouse
  33. Thursday 26 October 2017 — 14h30 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  34. Saturday 18 November 2017 — Temporada Alta, Girona

Nieuws over ‘Grensgeval’

Article — 14 April 2017

Interview with Mokhallad Rasem

Theater Malpertuis interviewed Toneelhuis maker Mokhallad Rasem about his new production Zielzoekers (Soul Seekers).

Video — 7 March 2017

CTZNS celebrates the citizen’s initiative

Toneelhuis organized a Kickoff Work Week (February 20th - 24th 2017) for prospective journalists, which will lead to the launch of a new digital platform: At a time of refugee crises, angst and social polarization, will serve as a platform for positive, powerful citizen initiatives and home in on the people behind these initiatives. It is a modest attempt to encourage ‘constructive journalism’. By way of preparation, the students spent a week talking to a number of experts on the subject. See the report below.

Article — 2 March 2017

20-24 February 2017: a step closer to the launching of

Together with prospective journalists, Toneelhuis is organizing a kickoff week that will lead to the launching of a new digital platform: CTZNS. The purpose of the platform is to collect positive and compelling citizens’ initiatives in a time of refugee crisis, fear and social polarization. This new site will cast the spotlight on the European citizen’s sense of possibilities. After the successful projects and, aims to become a new and powerful signal in our society, preferably on the European level.

Article — 8 November 2016

Dansrepetities Grensgeval gestart

In Antwerpen zijn de studenten dans van het Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen onder leiding van choreografe Maud Le Pladec gestart met de dansrepetities voor Grensgeval (Guy Cassiers), naar Die Schutzbefohlenen van Elfriede Jelinek. Hierbij vindt u een fotoverslag van de kennismakingsweek.

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Guy Cassiers / Toneelhuis / de Koe