On 23 January, Antigone in Molenbeek + Tiresias, the double bill of monologues directed by Guy Cassiers, was shown online in the Lessingtage festival. The international press was also among the spectators.
Stefan Hertmans and the young English slam poet Kae Tempest rewrote these classic myths in a contemporary idiom and placed them in an urban context.
In Antigone in Molenbeek (Hertmans), the protagonist, a Muslima, wants to bury her dead brother, an ISIS suicide bomber. The authorities refuse to release his body and Antigone cannot carry out her process of mourning. Ikram Aoulad plays the role of Antigone.
In Tiresias (Tempest), the identity of the protagonist slips from man into woman into blind seer. From their isolated positions, Antigone and Tiresias each expose the suppressed sexual, social and political prejudices in society. A monologue by Katelijne Damen.
Besides the visual technology, music also plays an important role. The two narratives, each in their own way, enter into a dialogue with String Quartet No. 15 by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
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.
- Guy Cassiers
- Kae Tempest
- Stefan Hertmans
- Katelijne Damen
- Ikram Aoulad
scenography and video
- Charlotte Bouckaert
- Danel Quartet
with the support of
- Tax Shelter maatregel v/d Belgische Federale Overheid
- Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius