TV works


The Beursschouwburg was founded in 1964. It opened its doors a year later, in a former party hall in the heart of Brussels, converted into a theatre. Its first manager was actor and theatrical director, Dries Wieme, who founded the Werkgemeenschap theatrical group in 1968. This ensemble is the original home of political consciousness theatre in Flanders and forerunner of the International New Scene. The Werkgemeenschap disbanded in the early 1970s after a managerial conflict. In 1974, a new non-profit organization took over the Beursschouwburg building. The ‘Beurs’ (stock exchange) made a name for itself as a concert hall (the young Tom Waits once performed here), as the home base of the Flemish rock scene and for organizing Mallemunt, one of the first city festivals in the country.

In the 1980s, the Beursschouwburg became a centre for the arts before the term actually came into being, presenting theatre, dance, rock, new music, video art, sculpture, lectures and so on. From 1984 to 1988, initially with André Van Halewyck of Kritak publishers, Johan Wambacq organized the lecture series, Hard op de tong (get it off your chest). Artists, authors, curators and philosophers had a platform where they could discuss pertinent issues. The transcripts were published in the satirical weekly, De Zwijger, and later, in Knack. Museum director Jan Hoet, opera director Gerard Mortier, authors Herman de Coninck and Rudy Kousbroek, philosophers Jaap Kruithof and Leo Apostel, and more took part. In 1988, four lectures were held on the theme of visual culture, by television journalist William Van Laeken, cultural philosopher Bart Verschaffel and publicists Dirk Lauwaert and Johan Thielemans. [Johan Wambacq]