The Blind Poet

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 Ditten Lerooij/Marc Combas, 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

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

Jan Lauwers wrote ‘The blind poet’ in close cooperation with the composer Maarten Seghers. Jan Lauwers starts out from the performers’ family trees and is writing a new story based on their various nationalities, cultures and 6
languages. He goes back a thousand years to ponder the notion of identity in today’s multicultural Europe.

Lauwers quotes the work of Abu al ‘ala al Ma’arri, a blind Arab poet who spanned the 10th and 11th centuries, and Wallada bint al Mustakfi, an Andalusian poet from the 11th century. Their work describes a time in which women held positions of power and atheism was commonplace, when Paris was just a small provincial town and Charlemagne was a famous illiterate.

History is written by the victors. By men. How much has the history we know actually been determined by lies, chance encounters and events along the way? About strong women who throw stones and end up at the stake. About a crusader in armour that’s too small.

Foto: Ł. Giza ©PPA