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What’s on this week: 17-23 January

12:01 16/01/2020
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Witness the very first production of the new Greta Koetz Collective, where graduates of the Liège Royal Conservatory come together to produce theatre along the themes of emancipation and freedom. On est sauvage comme on peut puts a group of friends around a dinner table and moves them from small talk to big shock, when the host makes an appalling request. The play premiered last year in Liége, and critics were impressed, with RTBF called it “madness, seasoned with humour and paradoxical joie de vivre”. (In French) 21 January to 01 February, Theatre National, Blvd Émile Jacqmain 111

The Brussels Imagination Club welcomes personal coach Anita Sheehan for the workshop Self-Worth Through Playfulness. She’ll talk about judging ourselves and the difference between self-esteem and self-worth before leading participants through exercises designed to increase acceptance of ourselves, both physically and mentally. Anyone can sign up for BIC workshops, which are always in English. 22 January 18.45-21.00, Timesmore, Boulevard St Michel 47 (Etterbeek)

Remember that fateful January three years ago when the world got its first glimpse of a Trump presidency? It wasn’t pretty then, and it isn’t pretty now, which is why Lights for Rights is returning with another protest action. The Women’s March 4 Peace is being staged to support women around the world in a call for peace and respect for all human lives. 18 January 13.30-15.00, Place de la Monnaie


Thirty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the eastern bloc’s film industry is coming into its own. Bridges: East of West Film Days collects the best recent cinema from the countries just east of the EU, including Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia. Caught between all-too recent warfare and western ideals that are not one-size-fits-all, the films offer a sketch of a region in transition. Try to catch opening film Atlantis, which includes a talk with lead actor Andriy Rymaruk. All films on the programme are subtitled in English. 22-26 January, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

The English Comedy Club’s beloved annual winter panto is Beauty & the Beast. The classic fairy-tale is given a send-up worthy of the pantomime genre, with reworked songs, bad jokes and fabulously bombastic costumes. The whole family will enjoy this show filled with wolves, horses, magical servants – and even a couple of Belgians. 17-19 January, Auderghem Cultural Centre, Blvd du Souverain 183

Dance the blues of these dark days away and celebrate the return of the Beurscafé after a long winter’s nap. The bar opens at 17.00, and DJs B-star and Insecure take over at 22.00. Entry is free. 17 January until 3.00, Rue Auguste Orts 20

Expat Club

The Expat Club kicks off the New Year with a trip through Van Gogh territory and skiing in the Vosges. Coming up in February is a journey to Venice for the (in)famous carnival celebrations. The club brings internationals together for travels both near and far year-round. You don’t have to be a member to sign up.

So you think you’re pretty clever, do you? Prove your mettle at Introduction to Improv, a free workshop on the art of improvisation. The international group of professionals of ImproBubbel will guide you through the basics in a fun, welcoming environment. No stage or comedy experience is required, and in fact, that’s not really the point: Many people follow classes to learn how to deal with everyday situations, become better conversationalists or improve their public speaking skills. (In English) 20 January 19.00-21.00, Rue Haute 184

Have you ever heard of bone music? It was a big part of the Soviet black market in the 1950s and ’60s when foreign recordings were largely banned, especially all that debauched jazz and rock’n’roll. The music was created on discs carved from x-rays by skilful Soviet rebel hands. Also known as ‘ribs’, the recordings could only be played a few times, but it was worth the rouble to hear The Beatles or Billie Holiday. Learn all about it at X-Ray Audio, where a real bone music disc will be cut live with Belgian band Dez Mona. (In English) 22 January 18.00-20.00, House of European History, Rue Belliard 135

Join a wine tasting run by sommelier and importer Brandon Mitchener. Every session is in English and focuses on a country or region; this time around it’s ‘Portugal from Dão to Douro’. Book your spot in advance. 23 January 19.30-22.30, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 258 (Ixelles)

Untitled piece by Sam Jinks


You will have trouble separating the art from the visitors at Hyperrealism Sculpture: Ceci n’est pas un corps. It’s a bit like a visit to a wax museum, but the figures look even more real, to the point of being rather discomfiting. The title refers of course to Magritte’s famous painting ‘The Treachery of Images’,  pointing to the idea that the more we try to understand reality, the further it slips away. Don’t miss Wallonia’s freakiest exhibition of the year. Until 3 May, La Boverie, Parc de la Boverie, Liège

Photos, from top: ©Dominique Houcmant/Theatre National; courtesy Snowplaza/; courtesy International Film Festival Rotterdam; Untitled piece by Sam Jinks, 2015, courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf (Sydney) and Institute for Cultural Exchange (Tübingen)

Written by Lisa Bradshaw