Brussels Shakespeare Society performs 'Macbeth' and short plays

Brussels Shakespeare Society performs 'Macbeth' and short plays
Credit: Brussels Shakespeare Society

The Brussels Shakespeare Society is running its Summer Festival at Espace Lumen in Ixelles till 11 June. The program includes three short plays written by Brussels residents, as well as Shakespeare's renowned Macbeth.

The Brussels Shakespeare Society specialises in amateur productions which have been running in Brussels for over 40 years. The Society has staged much of Shakespeare's work, but has also ventures into other genres such as Greek Tragedy, Restoration Comedy, and the works of other dramatists. The Society has also organised acting workshops.

This run of Macbeth is the first of the Society’s post-pandemic productions.

Macbeth, a relatable character?

This year, the Society has taken on Macbeth, a tragedy first thought to have been performed in 1606 in London. It stages the damaging effects of political ambition on those who seek power.

"It is actually a very relatable character even though he does many dark and depraved things, which are often shocking... Fundamentally it is about a man who doesn't feel he receives proper recompense for his contribution to society. It is very relatable because who hasn't felt underappreciated," actor Neale MacDonald told Bruzz.

"Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most renowned female characters. She's seen as a villain, but she's actually much more complex than that," said actor Emily Bowles also in Bruzz.

Practical information

The Brussels Shakespeare Society will perform Macbeth 9-11 June at 20:00 at the Espace Lumen theatre, Flagey. The play lasts two and a half hours and has a 20-minute interval.

Tickets are €17 and can be purchased through the Society’s website or at the door. Full-time students or groups of over 10 people can buy a ticket for €15. The show features French surtitles.

More information can be found here.

Short plays

From 6–8 June, the society will also put on three original short plays (two per night) at the same venue. All are thematically related to Shakespeare.

The first play, Shortly to Go, was the winner of the Society’s 2021 playwriting competition. Penned by Dimitrios Stasinopoulos and Illeas Konteas, the play is directed by Tim Myers. It explores parallels between Shakespeare’s attempts to finish King Lear during the plague year of 1606 and Mary Fortnite’s efforts to re-invent herself as an author during the pandemic in 2020.

Shortly to Go will be performed on Tuesday 7 June and Wednesday 8 June.

The second play, am I?, is directed by Guilhem Chevalier and was written by Stephen Challens, who is also the director of our Macbeth production. This play delves into the thorny question of the true authorship of Shakespeare's plays. am I? will be performed on Monday 6 June and Wednesday 8 June.

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Yellow is directed by Geoffrey Mamdani, who also wrote the piece. An intermingling of Shakespeare, office politics, and romance. The piece will be performed on Monday 6 June and Tuesday 7 June.

Tickets for the short plays are €15. Discounts apply. For more information, check the website.

Future Brussels Shakespeare Society productions include The Taming of the Shrew in October 2022 and The Tempest in February 2023.

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