Jan Lauwers & Needcompany [Brussels]

The Lobster Shop

The Lobster Shop
The Lobster Shop

18.01 – 24.01.2007

A plea for the beauty of the imperfect and the unpredictable

Axel is forty years old, a biogeneticist and married to Theresa. Their son dies as a result of a stupid incident. Their grief destroys everything. When no therapy is found to help and his wife leaves him, Axel decides to commit suicide. On the appointed day he puts on his best suit and goes to his favourite restaurant, The Lobster Shop, to eat lobster with sauce armoricaine one last time. However, the waiter stumbles and the lobster with sauce lands on Axel’s white suit. In a split second Axel’s ritual is destroyed and he sees his whole life blow up in his face. The Lobster Shop describes this fraction of a second.

In The Lobster Shop tragedies great and small pose a number of social questions. Flashes of current events irrevocably penetrate the fiction. Through situations that are sometimes surreal, sometimes realistic, we find ourselves in a world of boat refugees and criminals, illegality, and the limits of civilization. And strange discussions on the new man. Characters attempt to define their position but wrestle with the rapid developments taking place around them: genetic technology, migration flows, the clash of religious beliefs, horror and violence. The 21st century is presented as a period in flames, crumbling and disintegrating like a biotope of irrational fear and endless boredom and proliferating acts of desperation.

As a biogeneticist, Axel works on the new man who transcends all fear, desire and finally, mortality. However, specific events in his life, confrontations and dramas determine his scientific course. Through Axel’s tragedy, Jan Lauwers questions humanity and dehumanisation and argues in favour of the other side of beauty, the beauty of imperfection and the unpredictable.

To accompany the performances of The Lobster Shop, we plan to show Jan Lauwers’ first feature film, Goldfish Game (2002), once more. The film was selected for a variety of international festivals including those in Venice and Ghent in 2002.


texte et mise en scène Jan Lauwers
avec Hans Petter Dahl, Grace Ellen Barkey, Tijen Lawton, Anneke Bonnema, Benoît Gob, Inge Van Bruystegem, Julien Faure, Maarten Seghers
musique Hans Petter Dahl, Maarten Seghers
décor Jan Lauwers
costumes Lot Lemm
responsable de la production Luc Galle
éclairage Lieven De Meyere, Jan Lauwers
concept son Dré Schneider
traduction en anglais Gregory Ball
traduction en français Monique Nagielkopf
production Needcompany
coproduction Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Cankarjev Dom (Ljubljana), La Rose des Vents (Scène Nationale de Villeneuve d’Ascq), Automne en Normandie, La Filature (Scène Nationale de Mulhouse), Kaaitheater (Bruxelles), deSingel (Anvers)

Needcompany bénéficie du soutien de la Communauté flamande