Benjamin Verdonck is a great poet of little things. With his three table-theatres he opens up worlds of images that tackle the big questions with touching simplicity.
Combined ticket for all three performances 12 €
After “notallwhowanderarelost” in 2014, Benjamin Verdonck returns to steirischer herbst. This time he brings along no fewer than three theatres, all of which fit into the courtyard of Palais Attems. Before just twenty spectators, the Belgian artist creates intimate situations in which his audience watches spellbound with the eyes of a child as Verdonck conjures papercut-style figures, inscribed tablets and folding sceneries on strings, out of little boxes.
Played in succession, each of the three performances lasts no longer then twenty minutes. “One more thing” is inspired by a quotation from the Italian poet Cesare Pavese about the relationship between human beings and nature. A wooden box, curtains and words floating past patches of colour are the protagonists in this piece. In “Gille learns to read”, Verdonck uses a pair of shoes, a quotation from Jean Cocteau and a dead cat to fight his little daughter’s fear of terror. Also, the audience gets to see a pre-premiere version of Verdonck’s latest work, that premieres in 2018. “Song for Gigi” is an elegiac journey through the images of a landscape at different times. In what is a complex, sometimes disturbing world, Benjamin Verdonck uses his miniatures to create an oasis of lucid and yet poetic moments.
By and with Benjamin Verdonck
Music My Friend Peter
Produced by Toneelhuis
Project management Roland Gfrerer
Technical management Karl Masten
Benjamin Verdonck (BE)
Benjamin Verdonck, born in Antwerp/Belgium in 1972, lives and works as a performance artist, theatre maker and visual artist in his native town. He studied drama at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Antwerp and began to shift the emphasis of his artistic work from drama to performance art and into public space in the early 2000s. His most well-known public pieces include “Bara/ke 2000” (2000) and “Hirondelle/Dooi Vogeltje/The Great Swallow” (2004) as well as “KALENDER 09 (365 dagen actie in Antwerpen)” (2009). The latter was initiated by the artist and consisted of a series of public artistic performances mounted in the City of Antwerp for 365 successive days. However, Verdonck has also staged his pieces in traditional theatre settings, including “notallwhowanderarelost” for the 2014 steirischer herbst festival.