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KVS to stage performances ‘to prove it can be done safely’

14:25 09/04/2021

Brussels theatre KVS has scheduled five performances for the end of April, which it will stage regardless of coronavirus measures in effect at that time. “To prove that it is possible to organise events safely, we are opening our doors,” says KVS in a statement.

“The culture sector has been under lock and key for many months,” continues KVS. “We understand the public health situation, the pressure on caregivers and the price that so many in this crisis are having to pay. The culture sector has, however, been working constructively for months to be able to organise safe performances. The protocols were – together with virologists and experts – worked out last autumn.”

So KVS is planning to revive the play Jonathan, which premiered last September in the theatre’s open-air space. It was written and directed by well-known Belgian actors Bruno Vanden Broecke and Valentijn Dhaenens, who also play the only two parts.

 Valentijn Dhaenens (left) and Bruno Vanden Broecke in Jonathan
I, Robot: Jonathan explores what it means to be human  ©Danny Willems/KVS

Jonathan is a philosophical story about a man and a robot – a caregiving robot brought in to a nursing home during the Covid crisis. The robot and the son of a patient discuss their abilities and limits and, ultimately, what it means to be human. It is in Dutch with English and French surtitles.

The move by KVS is “a signal to the government,” it says, “to take the efforts of our sector seriously. We will respect the measures in a hall with a limited capacity, maximum ventilation, a carefully controlled flow of people, a register of all ticket-holders, social-distancing, monitoring CO2 levels, required facemasks and use of hand gel.”

The culture sector is perplexed, according to KVS, that they cannot welcome audiences under these circumstances in the face of crowded trains to the coast and hundreds of people gathered in parks. “Culture is essential for the well-being of our society. To prevent solidarity from eroding completely and dangerous, badly organised gatherings becoming the norm, we need to provide a safe way to enjoy culture.”

The announcement has certainly appealed to the public: Tickets went on sale for Jonathan yesterday, and all five performances are already sold out.

Photo top courtesy KVS

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw