Jan Lauwers / Needcompany

An angry man, irritated by the world around him; it is in this state of mind that Jan Lauwers said that he starting writing Marketplace 76. The Belgian director assumes his “sponge” side, absorbing everything he sees and feels to examine it under the microscope of a critical and sensitive intelligence. A humanist and free-thinking sponge, we'll permit ourselves to add, as he so distrusts categories and shortcuts, considering men with their graces and mediocrities, without any judgement or complaisance. To approach as closely as possible this poetry of the human experience, his work uses all the theatre's resources: his shows are most often akin to musical, choreographic and plastic performances, always held taut by an epic narration. Theatre here points a finger at the mask: the actors address the public, they hold their costumes in their hands more than they put them on, the sets constitute an arrangement of signs rather than presenting reality. Jan Lauwers composes un-situated space-times where layers of the real, fiction and mythology are superimposed. This is the trademark of Needcompany, the troupe he founded in 1986 with Grace Ellen Barkey, characterized, among other things, by the many disciplines and languages it uses and promotes. Most of the interpreters of Marketplace 76 were already present in 2004 at the Festival d'Avignon in Isbella's Bedroom, then in 2006 in The Lobster's Bazaar, the first two parts of the triptych Sad Face | Happy Face presented, with The Stags' House, in its entirety, at the Festival in 2009.

RB, april 2013.