Jan Lauwers & Needcompany

“The blind poet”

Jan Lauwers, Grace Ellen Barkey and Mohamed Toukabri in “The blind poet”

Jan Lauwers, Grace Ellen Barkey and Mohamed Toukabri in “The blind poet”

© Maarten van den Abeele

  • Duration 2h 30, one interval
  • In Arabic, English, Flemish, French, Norwegian and Tunisian with German surtitles

Past Dates

History is written by the victorious. By men. By the selected few who think they know what has to be done. In “The blind poet”, Needcompany counter historical truth with personal stories: Individual portraits of the seven performers on stage, whose histories ultimately interweave to form an alternative image of (world) history. This production, premiered by the Belgian company and directed by Jan Lauwers, quotes from the writings of the Arabic poet Abu l-‘Ala al-Ma’arri (973-1057) and of Wallada bint al Mustakfis, an Andalusian poet from the 11th century. Their works describe an era when Córdoba was the economic and cultural centre of the world, women held positions of power and atheism was commonplace. Reflected by this past epoch and based on the various nationalities, cultures and languages of the performers who tell us about their ancestors, biographies and discontinuities – individually or as a chorus, in the form of a rock song or a dance –, “The blind poet” deals with our concepts of identity in a contemporary, multicultural Europe.

With Grace Ellen Barkey, Jules Beckman, Anna Sophia Bonnema, Hans Petter Melø Dahl, Benoît Gob, Maarten Seghers, Mohamed Toukabri, Elke Janssens, Jan Lauwers

Text, directing, set design Jan Lauwers
Music Maarten Seghers
Costumes Lot Lemm
Costume Mohamed Bachir bin Ahmed bin Rhaïem El Toukabri
Dramaturgy & surtitles Elke Janssens
Lighting design Marjolein Demey, Jan Lauwers
Sound design Ditten Lerooij
Sound Marc Combas
Technical manager Marjolein Demey
Technique & production Marjolein Demey, Gwen Laroche
Technical set construction De Muur, X-Treme
Logistical support Irmgard Mertens
Costume assistant Lieve Meeussen
Trainee director Lisaboa Houbrechts
Trainee technicians Pablo Pérez Albalaejo, Ludovicus Grevendonk
Dramaturgical introduction Erwin Jans
Dramaturgical adviser Jef Lambrecht, Lucas Catherine, Taha Adnan
French translation Olivier Taymans
English translation Gregory Ball
German translation Rosi Wiegmann
Photographer Maarten Vanden Abeele

Production: Needcompany
Co-production: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, FIBA – Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm

With the support of the Flemish authorities