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What’s on this week: 25-31 May

13:46 24/05/2018
Our top picks of culture and activities in and around Brussels

Amy Winehouse’s unrestrained life and untimely death has made her a poetic legend or a cautionary tale, depending on who you ask. No stone was left unturned in the scrutiny of her life both public and private, from her style to her drug addiction to her abusive marriage. The press and the public could be cruel, but this exhibition – first staged in London’s Jewish Museum – is not. Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait explores her family history all the way back to Belarus, her Jewish roots, her eclectic musical talent and her meteoric rise to fame with respect and not a little poignancy. Until 16 September, Jewish Museum of Belgium, Rue des Minimes 21

One of Brussels’ biggest events of the year is about to take over the streets – literally. The Brussels 20km marathon finds 40,000 people from more than 130 countries racing along a route that cuts through several Brussels municipalities. If you’d like to run but haven’t registered, there’s still a chance. Otherwise, just show up to join the masses who picnic or lounge on a terrace along the route, which takes in both the Bois de la Cambre and Parc de Woluwe. 27 May, 10.00 start time at Cinquantenaire

The centenary of the First World War in Belgium has been naturally focused on the Western Front, but this year Bozar is exploring the repercussions of the Eastern Front and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in particular. Too Soon, Too Late brings together artists from seven countries for a weekend of site-specific performance and video installations. Visitors wander through the venue, encountering these happenings, which reflect formative changes that have happened throughout the last 100 years in the “new Europe” and their effect on today’s generations. 26-27 May, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Ciné Basilic film day

A lovely day out for the whole family awaits you at Ciné Basilic, an open-air celebration of silent film. Kids are introduced to old cinema greats Harold Lloyd (pictured) and Buster Keaton, while taking part in workshops in French or Dutch in between screenings. In the evening, see the 2011 Oscar winner The Artist. 26 May 12.00-23.00, OCMW, Place Guido Gazelle (Ganshoren)

What binds Europeans together? Politicians certainly have their theories, but the exhibition Van Tiepolo tot Richter: European Dialogue suggests that it is cultural and artistic heritage. The traditions, beliefs and artworks and the stories they tell – both big and small – are passed down through generations and travel across the continent, linking communities with each other. A representative selection is tough to make, but the attempt by 14 international foundations is nothing short of fascinating in this dialogue between Rodin, Jordaens, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Leon Spilliaert, just to name a few. Come meet the artists who got the stories going. Until 30 September, Museum of Art & History, Parc du Cinquantenaire 10

Since its London debut in 1979, Amadeus has been a firm favourite with theatre-goers around the world. Brussels’ English Comedy Club is performing the costume drama that brilliantly draws the audience into the world of 18th-century imperial Vienna and features Mozart’s music prominently. But in the end, it is the conspiracy theory that is the star here, drawing viewers deep into a centuries-old murder mystery: Was Mozart killed by the court composer, Salieri? 30 May to 3 June, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Brussels Light Opera Company takes on Urinetown, a musical that must be seen to be believed. When a water shortage leads to a ban on private toilets, citizens must line up and pay for those provided by the government. Anyone who pees elsewhere is sent to the dreaded Urinetown. The comedy, which offers a send up of numbers from famous stage productions, takes on mismanaged resources, capitalism run amok and the bureaucratic red tape that strangles real change. 31 May to 3 June, Warandepoort Theatre (Tervuren)

There are two sides to every story. This was the starting point for Belgian theatre director Guy Cassiers's adaptation of French author Philippe Claudel's 2005 novella La petite fille de Monsieur Linh (Mister Linh and His Child). Though those who've never had to flee war or poverty in search of a life worth living form opinions all too easily, what does it feel like for the refugee adrift in a foreign country? A play about survivor's guilt, trauma and hesitantly forging new connections. (in French) 25-31 May, Theatre National, Bld Emile Jacqmain 111

After a rousing first edition, the Brussels Jazz Weekend returns to the streets, squares and clubs of the capital. An array of subgenres, from funk to big band, can be found across the region, all for free. Plan your weekend by neighbourhood – for instance, the Bart Defoort Quintet, Saudade and the Brussels Swing Dance Club can all be found a hop-and-a-skip from each other – or by sounds, with Aline Lua and Blue Bossa Liberté both playing the smooth sounds of Bossa Nova. 25-26 May, across Brussels

Romy Conzen plays at Give Music a Chance


When fine weather, music and a cause combine, magic happens. The open-air festival Give Music a Chance features an eclectic programme of local bands – from the psychedelia of Great Mountain Fire to the soulful acoustical sounds of Romy Conzen (pictured) – and special performances for children. The proceeds go to Music Fund, a non-profit that provides musical instruments to young people in conflict zones. Concert-goers can also bring instruments they no longer need directly to the festival to donate. 26 May, 12.00-midnight, Square d‘Argenteuil 5, Waterloo

The Suffolk Singers don’t often tour abroad, but the choir is crossing the sea this weekend for concerts in Ghent and Ypres, as well as a special evening performance at the Menin Gate. The Ypres concert on Saturday features works by Thomas Weelkes and James MacMillan, among others, and is followed by an organ recital by John Hutchings. The concert in Ghent on Sunday will include works by Mendelssohn, contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, 20th-century American composer Moses Hogan and will conclude with 20th-century British composer Gerald Finzi’s magnificent “God is Gone Up”, featuring Sint-Baafs Cathedral’s five-manual organ. The concerts are free, and no reservation is required; just come along. 26 May 15.00, Sint-Maartens Cathedral, Sint-Maartensplein and 20.00 Menin Gate, Ypres; 27 May 15.00, Sint-Baaf’s Cathedral, Sint-Baafsplein, Ghent

A new generation of architects is confronting a new generation of challenges, namely overpopulation and rising property prices. The exhibition Together: The New Architecture of the Collective at the inimitable Grand-Hornu showcases a cross-section of the solutions in development. From Japan’s modular Moriyala House to Seoul’s micro-housing to France’s utopian 19th-century Familstère de Guise, the exhibition documents collective living experiments from around the world. Until 1 July, Grand-Hornu, Rue Sainte-Louise 82, Boussu (Hainaut)

Photos: Amy Winehouse/Charles Moriarty Photography, Romy Conzen/courtesy Give Music a Chance, Suffolk Singers/Patrick Ward

Written by Lisa Bradshaw and Sarah Crew



TONIGHT Thursday 31 May. Great lecture at WSL Maison Communale Conference Room at 19:30 on detective work to understand your paintings.

May 31, 2018 14:16