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Theatre

Grandpa Puss; or how God disappeared

laGeste, Toneelhuis, Lisaboa Houbrechts

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A girl dives into the hidden traumas of the past. How does violence in intimate circles relate to the historical violence in society? A large-scale intergenerational story about a familial nervous breakdown, between theatre and opera. 
Lisaboa Houbrechts writes and stages a family epic that spans three generations. She goes in search of how the small is interwoven with the large, the intimate with the political, and the past with the present. 

In the first part, Grandpa Puss; or how God disappeared, the twelve-year-old Granddaughter of All Granddaughters looks back into her grandfather's past. His childhood, the war, sexual abuse in the fraternity school and the cruel marriage with Grandma Puss.  

The Granddaughter of All Granddaughters is magical. She struggles through the pool of memories to visit the children of the past. The violence done to children determines the violence of tomorrow. Lisaboa Houbrechts poses the question of how violence in intimate circles relates to historical violence in society.

Grandpa Puss; or how God disappeared tells the story of a family breakdown in which Grandpa Puss and his son sacrifice their faith and nail Jesus to the Cross. This to the despair of Grandma Puss who wants to keep her family pious and pure in a world that is becoming more and more secular in the 1960s. 

For this grand narrative, Lisaboa Houbrechts works with players, singers and musicians of all ages. Lisaboa Houbrechts interweaves fragments of Bach's St John Passion with her own texts and she connects Bach with folk music. She builds a house of magic and poetry in which the children of today play with the young versions of their parents and grandparents. 
in Dutch

Credits

text and direction

  • Lisaboa Houbrechts

voice

  • Lisaboa Houbrechts

arias, chorals and recitatives

  • J. S. Bach

arrangements, musical direction

  • Pedro Beriso

with

  • Alberto Martinez
  • Boule Mpanya
  • Elisa Soster
  • Elsie De Brauw
  • Pieter Ampe
  • Philippe Thuriot
  • Stefaan Degand
  • de kinderen
  • Zofia Hanna

Arrangements for accordion and tenor

  • Philippe Thuriot

composition and realization music score

  • Bert & Stijn Cools (granvat)

scenography and puppets

  • Filip Peeters

costume design

  • Oumar Dicko

light design

  • Fabiana Piccioli

dramaturgy

  • Hildegard De Vuyst

musical dramaturgy

  • Piet De Volder

orchestra (recording)

  • Orkest Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

realization costumes

  • Oumar Dicko
  • kostuumatelier Toneelhuis

realization set and puppets

  • Filip Peeters
  • atelier FroeFroe

sound

  • Brecht Beuselinck

light

  • Bennert Vancottem

production

  • laGeste

coproduction

  • Toneelhuis
  • Opera Ballet Vlaanderen
  • Le Phénix, Scène nationale de Valenciennes
  • MC93, Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny)
  • L'Opéra de Lille
  • Holland Festival (NL)

thanks to

  • De School van Gaasbeek

with the support of

  • Stad Gent
  • de Vlaamse Overheid
  • Tax Shelter maatregel v/d Belgische Federale Overheid
  • Flanders TAX shelter

All data

  1. Wednesday 1 February 2023 — 20h00 — Opera Gent, Gent
  2. Thursday 2 February 2023 — 20h00 — Opera Gent, Gent
  3. Friday 3 February 2023 — 20h00 — Opera Gent, Gent
  4. Thursday 9 February 2023 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  5. Friday 10 February 2023 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  6. Saturday 11 February 2023 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  7. Sunday 12 February 2023 — 15h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  8. Tuesday 28 February 2023 — 20h00 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  9. Wednesday 1 March 2023 — 20h00 — Le Phénix, Valenciennes
  10. Friday 3 March 2023 — 20h00 — KVS - BOL, Brussel
  11. Saturday 4 March 2023 — 20h00 — KVS - BOL, Brussel
  12. Thursday 9 March 2023 — 20h00 — Opéra de Lille, Lille
  13. Friday 10 March 2023 — 20h00 — Opéra de Lille, Lille
  14. Thursday 16 March 2023 — 20h00 — MC93, Bobigny
  15. Friday 17 March 2023 — 20h00 — MC93, Bobigny
  16. Saturday 18 March 2023 — 20h00 — MC93, Bobigny

News about ‘Grandpa Puss; or how God disappeared’

Lisaboa Houbrechts makes theatre that is epic and intimate in equal measure Article — 24 June 2022

Lisaboa Houbrechts makes theatre that is epic and intimate in equal measure

Among the 'new' artists Toneelhuis that is showcasing, there is one who is cheating just a little bit. Five years ago, Lisaboa Houbrechts (b. 1992) already took her first steps in the Bourla, through the talent development trajectory, P.U.L.S.. That she now has moved up to become one the resident makers is hardly surprising: her metaphorical theatre with an epic slant simply begs for a grandiose context.

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