Thalia Theater, a German company in Hamburg, and Dramaten, the Swedish national theatre in Stockholm, co-organized the first European online theatre festival. Both are members of mitos21, a European network of the continent’s leading theatres, to which Toneelhuis also belongs.
From 20 to 29 January, Lessingtage 2021 offered shows from across the length and breadth of the continent, from Sweden to Italy and from Belgium to Russia, with English subtitles.
The international press was also among the spectators. The New York Times was full of praise for Antigone in Molenbeek + Tiresias:
"I was also impressed with how well another production, ‘Antigone in Molenbeek/Tiresias,’ translated to the screen....
“In ‘Antigone,’ the author Stefan Hertmans transposes Sophocles’ tragedy to contemporary Belgium, where a law student, Nouria (Ikram Aoulad), embarks on a futile quest to retrieve the mortal remains of her brother, an ISIS fighter, from a forensics lab. Addressing the audience, Aoulad conveys her character’s pain and resolute sense of justice with both elegance and quaking rage.
“In ‘Tiresias,’ the actress Katelijne Damen recites a blistering, dizzying poem by the young British poet Kae Tempest, a subversive retelling of the myth of the blind, gender-fluid prophet. Damen’s rendition of the virtuosic text is shot through with grace and wit. Especially impressive was how the Toneelhuis’ wide-screen camerawork (shot by Charlotte Bouckaert, who is also responsible for the set) succeeded in capturing the power of chamber theater."
- A.J. Goldmann in The New York Times, 25 January 2021
“Actress Katelijne Damen, partly hanging over a table, sensually tells how Tiresias gives free rein to her femininity. With her silky tone, this magnificent actress ... adds her own colour to Tempest’s expressive language.” – Ron Rijghart, NRC Handelsblad, 21 January 2021