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What's on this week: 8-14 December

22:55 07/12/2017
Christmas markets aplenty, plus see Théâtre Varia's latest performance on fame with English surtitles

Argentinian playwright Rafael Spregelburd and the Brussels theatre collective Transquinquennal join forces to present a play that explores the ins and outs of fame. Philip Seymour Hoffman is alive and well and living in Brussels in this postmodern tragicomedy where Hoffman, the Japanese star Kyoshi Kou and the Belgian Stéphane Olivier cross paths in a profusion of interwoven plots.
13 December 19.30, 16 December 20.30, Théâtre Varia, Rue Gray, Ixelles

This year's Christmas concert at Brussels cathedral is a performance of the Christmas Oratorio by Saint-Saëns by l’Ensemble Sequentiae created and directed by Mathieu Bonnin, choir master at Chartres Cathedral. The ensemble consists of 30 singers, and they will be accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra. Additionally Brussels Cathedral organist Xavier Deprez will play pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns and James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély. Reservations at by 10 December or you can take your chance the evening of the concert.
12 December, free for those under 18

The Ixelles Christmas market has a unique pitch to entice you: it’s all under a giant heated big top so you’ll have no problem staying warm. Lots of different gift ideas, restaurant corner with foie gras and tartiflette, a bar with drinks, soup, boudins and more, free children’s shows and Father Christmas of course.
Place Flagey, 8 December 12.30-22.00, 9 December 10.00-21.00, 10 December 10.00-19.00

The Finnish Seafarers’ Church in Brussels is holding its traditional Finnish Christmas market where you can find all sorts of objects in Finnish design, as well as wooden objects and Finnish foods. Holiday lottery for lots of prizes including free trips to Finland.
Until 10 December. Rue Jacques de Lalaing 33, Etterbeek

At La Ferme Nos Pilifs, a rural oasis in Brussels, it’s the Christmas market this weekend. Available are fresh Christmas trees from the Ardennes (4,000 to choose from), Christmas decorations, gifts and holiday foods including Christmas dinner. If you shop at Nos Pilifs you support jobs for 150 handicapped people. Three species of Christmas trees are available rooted, rootless, on a wooden cross stand or in a pot. Delivery available.

In the beautiful Tanneurs building on the edge of the Marolles it’s a completely Upcycling Christmas market where artisans and creators will be selling both reinvigorated used objects and objects made with recycled materials with an emphasis on ecology, nature, world citizens and slow living. Food trucks and a chill-out corner.

This weekend the romantic site that is the Château de Karreveld and its park and ponds will welcome you to its Christmas village for traditional holiday shopping, eating and strolling under ethereal lighting. Festive fireworks at 20.00 on Saturday.
8-10 December

There’s a free screening for children (and accompanying adults) of Hayao Mizayaki’s new film Ponyo – On the Cliff at the Actor’s Studio this Wednesday. Doors open at 13.30 and a tea will be served after the screening. It’s free but registration is required by 9 December. Screening in French. or 02 279 33 10.

Schuman Lights Up is back, with nine days of festive events under a white tent with fairytale lighting. On different evenings various groups will be offering seasonal foods and activities.
Until 13 December

In case you missed Nazanin Fakoor’s installation Light Drawing in the Halles de Schaerbeek during October, here’s your chance to see it at the Cultural Centre in Strombeek where it will be shown as part of the evening Never Walk Alone #2 on Friday 8 December.

Wallonia is blessed with a particularly varied substrate for the size of the territory and this has created an exceptional diversity of ornamental stones. This is a major economic asset for the region as such stones as Belgian black marble and blue limestone are in demand around the world, the black marble making up part of the Taj Mahal, Saint Peter’s and the Palace of Versailles for instance. At l’Espace Wallonie in downtown Brussels there’s a exhibition entitled Geo+Stone which examines in depth what is geology, what geologists actually do and how it affects our world. On display are examples of some of the many Walloon stones, be they calcareous or silicious.
Free, until 17 January. Free exhibition guide booklet available in Dutch, English or French.

Written by Richard Harris, Paul McNally