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What’s on this week: 16-22 August

10:16 15/08/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus once said that artists have to destroy conventions to create anything new, that only by eradicating the world as they know it will they be able to design something worth showing to others. Forget influences, embrace the unknown, basically. A decade later, this idea has become the theme of the Brigittines International Festival. All 12 productions in this year’s edition of the performance festival have turned forgone conclusions on their ear and let their fantasies run wild. 16-31 August, Petite Rue des Brigittines

Whether you picked up The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985 or only after you saw the Hulu series, you’re welcome at Waterstones for a round-table discussion of the iconic dystopian novel. And a head’s up: Next month Passa Porta will be live-streaming an interview with author Margaret Atwood in London about her new book – a sequel! 18 August 15.00-16.00, Boulevard Adolphe Max 71

Internationals and locals are set to mix at the Brussels Picnic & Potluck. Bring your own picnic or a dish to share. It’s free and all in the name of getting to know fellow residents of Brussels. Reserve ahead so the organisers know how many people to expect. 17 August 14.00-23.00, Bois de la Cambre

Eden Hazard

What’s better than watching Belgian footballer Eden Hazard make his La Liga debut with Real Madrid? Watching it with a thousand other people on a big screen at the Atomium! There are other activities, too, and it’s all free. 17 August 17.00-21.00, Atomiumsquare

Every Saturday evening, CouCou open-air bar at Poelaert hosts free concerts. This week it’s Mervice & the Good Fellas with funky soul and jazz. 17 August 18.30-21.00, Place Poelaert

It’s tough to imagine what an intellectual activist and feminist like Audre Lorde would think of the state of America today. But you can find out why she left it for the foggy streets of Berlin in 1984, where she played a key role in the birth of the Afro-German movement, at a screening of the documentary Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years. 22 August 18.00, Le Monde selon les femmes, 18 Rue de la Sablonnière

Festival Theatres Nomades

The Festival Theatres Nomades is a fun day out with the whole family. Taking over Brussels Park, it features numerous circus, theatre and acrobatic acts. Everything is free, and the programme designates if a show is in French or without dialogue. Shows in tents need to be reserved in advance. 22-25 August, Brussels Park, Rue de la Loi & Rue Royale

Step out of the rain and into Flagey this weekend for some excellent revivalist cinema. On the bill are Godard’s Bande à part, Romy Schneider in Katia and Michel Deville’s Eaux profonds (Deep Water), an adaption of Patricia Highsmith’s psychological thriller. And that’s just a start. 17-18 August, Place Sainte-Croix (Ixelles)

Do you want to experience a parallel micro-universe set in a transient space soundtracked by atemporal music where dancing is the priority? Then you should go to Schmink VIII. It’s near South Station, but you’ll get the address only when you buy your ticket. 17 August 16.00-22.00

The Brussels Grand Prix sees local athletes test their mettle against international competitors. There are youth and adults track and field events, as well as a para-athletics event. Everything is open to the public for a very democratic price. 23 August, King Baudouin Stadium, Avenue de Marathon 135

Histoire de Clochers


Tournai’s Notre-Dame cathedral is magnificent inside and out and so is a great stage on which to portray a sound and light show. Histoire de Clochers is a free 30-minute story told with projection mapping along the façade of the 12th century Unesco World Heritage Site. A dramatic, entertaining tale told with jaw-dropping visual effects. 16-25 August 22.00, Place de l’Evéché, Tournai

Deep in the Gaume region of Wallonia lies Chassepierre, home to a legendary annual street-theatre festival that takes over the entire charming village. See a huge variety of acrobatics, circus acts and creative theatre against a backdrop of Ardennes mountains and forests. Check out free performances on public squares and along the streets or buy convenient day passes to get into everything. 17-18 August, across Chassepierre (Florenville)

Photos: Brigittines/Oliver de Sagazan in Transfiguration, Eden Hazard/©Dirk Waem/BELGA, Theatres Nomades courtesy event, Histoire de Clochers courtesy event

Written by Lisa Bradshaw