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Verboden gebied: Vrouw in Niemandsland

Johan Simons/ Elsie de Brauw/ Erwin Mortier

4 t/m 8 August 2018

“What is to become of us when the killing stops, if it ever stops, and peace comes, if it ever comes? What will they expect from us, the people that sent us off?”

A woman applies to volunteer during the Great War and ends up directly behind the battle fields. Day after day she helps transport wounded soldiers from the trenches to the hospitals in the hinterland. Experiencing hands-on how the war is causing the dissolution of all humanity, she feels it seeping into her bones, her language. Little by little, she realises that it’s not just the battle field that has become a no man’s land: her entire existence is a warzone.

In the arresting monologue Verboden Gebied. Vrouw in Niemandsland, Elsie de Brauw [Hollandia, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, NTGent], directed by Johan Simons, gives a voice to the forgotten women of the Great War, which ended 100 years ago this year. Drawing on the wartime writings of some of the many anonymous wartime volunteers, Erwin Mortier has written a polyphonous monologue that explores the  desperation of war, of parents sacrificing their children to the war effort in exchange for some social status, of men and women who set off as heroes and come back as living corpses.


Article Volkskrant 22 march (Dutch)


text: Erwin Mortier
regie: Johan Simons
performance: Elsie de Brauw
child in video: Alexandra Greidanus
dramaturgy: Koen Tachelet
video & photography: Lennart Laberenz
light/sound: Marc Swaenen
production: Theaterfestival Boulevard & Gone West Weergaloos
Partly made possible by Provincie West-Vlaanderen.
There is an after-talk following the performance on 5th of August at 8.30 pm with Erwin Mortier/Johan Simons/Elsie de Brauw.

The makers from Verboden Gebied. Vrouw in Niemandsland are present on the 6th of August at Talk of the Town.

This performance can be booked in combination with Jija Sohn – Kyabajo for Saturday 4 August. Select one of these two performances and the combiticket option is offered.


As part of the commemorations surrounding the centenary of the end of World War I, this show will be going on a brief tour across Flanders and the Netherlands in the autumn of 2018.

  • Entrance price € 19
  • Premiere
  • Friend price € 17
  • Genre Theatre
  • Running time 75 min.
  • Location Theater de Speeldoos
  • Accessibility Induction loops/infra red system available, Visual impairment, Guide dog allowed, Wheelchair accessible
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