Lisaboa Houbrechts is putting the Lauwers-Barkey family, a real family, on stage to in order portray the canonical Hamlet family. In doing so, she is attempting to penetrate the essence of this primal tragedy.
Lisaboa Houbrechts & Kuiperskaai make theatre full of vitality and fantasy, as witnessed by their sparkling version of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (2016) and the daring 1095 (2017). Director Lisaboa Houbrechts evokes history in the form of a ritual deed, revealing human nature as a series of passionate urges by presenting historical stories and classical repertoire.
Now Lisaboa Houbrechts is tackling Hamlet. Approaching the play from the female perspective, she focuses on the destructive relation between Hamlet and Queen Gertrude, his mother. Houbrechts points up Gertrude’s innocence, and in doing so positions her at the heart of the company’s repertoire.
Lisaboa Houbrechts has asked the actress Grace Ellen Barkey to play the role of the militant Gertrude. Appearing together with her son Victor Lauwers as prince Hamlet, and her daughter Romy Louise Lauwers in the role of Ophelia, this is the first time that Grace Ellen will be seen in a Kuiperskaai production.
"This is not a Hamlet that obediently colours within the lines, but an idiosyncratic adaptation that boldly opens up new perspectives."
"We see a family going at it on stage. What’s especially striking is that the repartee between these three is very direct, and at times aggressive. That’s part of the power of this production. Where does truth end and fiction begin with this trio?"
"Lisaboa Houbrechts and Kuiperskaai tackle Hamlet with daring and bravura, proving that they are an artists’ collective to be reckoned with."
"At the age of 27, looking at the world of Shakespeare through feminist eyes, Lisaboa Houbrechts is making a terrific entrance in the small community of the European theatre scene."
"What’s more, Houbrechts' staging is a free adaptation. Not just because she emphasizes the female aspects more than Shakespeare does. The text of the play (in Dutch with German surtitles) is also 2.0 in a sense; only here and there do the famous original citations filter through."
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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