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What’s on this week: 7-13 September

15:25 06/09/2018
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

English Comedy Brussels opens its new season with British comics Will Mars and Sean Morley. Both have low-key deliveries, but the similarity stops there, with Mars’ sharp, self-deprecating humour so full of clever quips, he often has to pause to let it sink in before the laughter follows. Morley has made his name playing off the heckler-comic relationship – and managing to make it political. The stage, by the way is the only place you’re ever likely to meet Mars, as Tinder doesn’t work for him, he says, “because I’m not competitive facially”.
11 September 20.00, The Black Sheep, Chausée de Boondael (Ixelles)

One of the capital’s top events of the new cultural season, United Music of Brussels takes visitors on a parcours around the capital to see singers and bands of all sorts take to the, erm, cellar. Or to a shopping centre, or to a co-working space. The oddball location of each performance is almost as entertaining as the performance itself. And each infuses the other with new meaning. Download the programme and make your own schedule, and don’t worry about a ticket: It’s all free. 8 September 14.00-19.00, across central Brussels

Global social and political revolutions are exciting but also bring with them a sense of unease. Protests can be empowering, but they can also be met with brutal violence. And as much as you might support an open border policy, what happens when global warming increases five or tenfold the number of people needing to flee? These are the kinds of questions cultural centre De Markten is taking on with the photo exhibition Unrest, which comes with a soundscape that makes the experience much more sensory. Several special events take place during the course of the exhibition, including a piano concert and talks on such topics as freedom vs security, climate change and Palestine. Until 14 October, De Markten, Vieux Marché aux Grains 5

Belgian-Korean Comic Exhibition

The fifth edition of the Belgian-Korean Comic Exhibition is all about being a kid. While it’s true that the medium encompasses all generations of readers, Childhood - Where is Your Heart Now? goes a step further, showcasing comics about childhood or life from the viewpoint of children. Both Korean and Belgian strips are on show, with an interesting comparison of how different cultures view growing up as a result. The show opens next Thursday with a vernissage and artist talks. 13 September to 3 November, Korean Cultural Center Brussels, Rue de la Régence

The play Yvan & Else: Bank of God shows a relationship ending, but it looks beyond the two protagonists to explore the external influences that are always present, as well as broader ruptures in society. As actor Yannick De Coster told us earlier this week: “It’s never just about two people who couldn’t make it work. The economy puts so much pressure on people.” The production is being performed in English as well as French in a move that Théâter Poème hopes will catch on in Brussels. 12-30 September (in English on 13, 20 & 27 September), Theatre Poème, 30 Rue d’Ecosse (Saint-Gilles)

The ever-inventive Boghossian Foundation uses a sobering quote from Victor Hugo to introduce its latest exhibition: Who needs borders? Kings. To divide in order to reign. A border entails a sentry box, a sentry box entails a soldier.” Beyond  Borders, staged inside Brussels’ Art Deco masterpiece Villa Empain, finds 37 international artists taking on the subject, from ancient border disputes and identity politics, all the way to Brexit. Until 24 February, Villa Empain, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67 (Ixelles)

Yoga & Vegan Festival

One of the tenets of yoga, according to the ancient text Yoga Sutras, is anti-violence. Yoga instructor Kriti Sachdeva of London thinks that can also be applied to veganism, so she founded the Yoga and Vegan Festival, which is about to celebrate its first edition in Brussels. Dozens of classes for all abilities, vegan food galore, a market and talks by experts on both subjects. Everything is in English, with French translation available. 9 September 9.00-18.00, La Tricoterie, Rue Théodore Verhaegen 158 (Saint-Gilles)

Brussels Gallery Weekend finds nearly more than 50 local galleries and cultural institutions throwing a party to mark the beginning of the new art season. Born from a desire to highlight the strength and diversity of the Brussels art scene and to build bridges between its players and patrons, the weekend has become a flagship event in Belgium and abroad. It’s not just about walking in and out of art galleries: There are performances, guided tours, workshops, talks and even some food and drink. A new event is also using the occasion for its premiere: A Performance Affair, meant to push the economic realities of the stage arts into the spotlight, sees artists of all kinds taking over the second floor of a building for ongoing performances. A special Brussels Gallery Weekend bus shuttles you between venues to boot. 6-9 September, across Brussels

If you haven’t taken part in a Brussels Museum Nocturnes, then you haven’t been in the capital long. An autumn season stalwart, the months-long event sees multiple museums open after hours every Thursday. Along with rock-bottom entry fees, every museum puts on something special, like concerts, a cocktail bar or themed guided tours. It all kicks off next week with a preview of the season at a chic reception at the Egmont Palace, DJ Mukambo spinning live to the Amy Winehouse exhibition at the Jewish Museum and a party at Museum Village on Place du Grand Sablon. 13 September to 6 December, across Brussels

The World of Tim Burton


American filmmaker Tim Burton has become a household name for his lengthy filmography that has introduced audiences to fantastical and often disturbing worlds. From cult classics like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands to blockbusters Batman and Planet of the Apes to slightly twisted animations such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie, Burton’s signature gothic style has taken many forms and criss-crossed generations in ways that typify few film directors. The exhibition The World of Tim Burton captures a sense of this oeuvre and its effect on global pop culture with drawings, animated stop-motion figures, scale models, film clips and sculptural installations. Until 28 November, C-mine, Evence Coppéelaan 91, Genk (Limburg)

Wallonia celebrates the 30th anniversary of Heritage Days this weekend with a wealth of activities across a region that is, on any given day, rich with history – whether feudal, aristocratic or pastoral – and architectural masterpieces. The theme is ‘the underground’, with visits to spaces normally hidden from visitors to venues like castles, museums and theatres: the backstage, the kitchens, the rooms too fragile to be open to the public. But ‘underground’ is also taken literally, with tours of cellars, caves, hidden passages and bunkers. But the programme is much wider than that, with dozens of activities in every province. 8-9 September, across Wallonia

Photos: United Music/Niels Hanssens/YouTube, Belgian-Korean courtesy Korean Cultural Center, Yoga and Vegan courtesy event, Tim Burton courtesy CaracasCom PR

Written by Lisa Bradshaw