Thomas BellinckTheatre Director & Actor
'They bring theatre that makes a huge gesture towards the smallness of man,’ a journalist wrote about the Belgian theatre makers, Thomas Bellinck and Jeroen Vander Ven. The two founded their theatre group Steigeisen in 2010, presenting visually strong, socially engaged theatre. ‘I want to make things that relate to the world around me, that make me angry or surprise me,’ Bellinck says. ‘I want to say something about what happens around me. Sometimes this is expressed in more political actions, sometimes in theatre.’
After a study in Germanic Languages at Leuven University, Bellinck studied Dramatic Arts at RITS in Brussels. As an actor, Bellinck worked in productions by the Nieuwpoorttheater, Theater Antigone, 't Arsenaal and Muziektheater LOD. As a director, together with Vander Ven, he produced for Steigeisen the performances ‘Fobbit,’ ‘Billy, Sally, Jerry and the .38 Gun,’ ‘Lethal Inc.’, ‘De Onkreukelbare’ (The Incorruptable) and ‘Memento Park,’ often in close collaboration with KVS, the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels.
Apart from this, Bellinck also likes to work with non-professional actors in prisons and mental institutions. ‘As a director I learn a lot in prisons and mental institutions. I like to work with people with a well-developed “bull-shit meter”. I couldn’t sell “theatre nonsense” there or talk round the question. As a director you have an ego, you think you’re expected to find a solution for everything. But in jail you learn to look at an actor and see what is actually happening instead of seeing what you want to see.’
In 2013 Bellinck created Domo de Eŭropa Historio en Ekzilo, a futuristic historical museum about life in the former European Union, which was selected for the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, the Wiener Festwochen and Het Theaterfestval 2014.