How can I break this? Tim Etchells kicks off Het Theaterfestival

Theaterfestival1Bye bye summer. That’s what Het Theaterfestival always means to me. It signals the beginning of the new season. For those of you who might not be familiar with the Belgian festival: it brings together some of the best theatre-performances of last season, picked by a jury. Every year the selection is highly controversial. This year the list is criticised for being too experimental and for focusing too much on theatre for the in-crowd. One of the more interesting things of the festival is the ‘state of the union’ that kicks it off. This year the honor was bestowed upon British theatre director Tim Etchells, from Forced Entertainment. His lenghty speech, held in Brussels’ Kaaitheater, even mentioned punk and The Fall. And Baudelaire: on how a child always wants to break its toy to get to the bottom of it.

‘How can I break this? It’s a good, disrespectful question – curiosity and vigorous will mixed with an enjoyably careless assumption that the thing might not matter that much (might not be precious) in its unbroken form, or powered by a healthy assumption that if the thing (called theatre) breaks it can be replaced or that in its broken form it might be as interesting or useful, or perhaps even more interesting and more useful, than it was in its original condition.’

Do read the rest of his thoughts on theatre too. You’ll find them here.

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