House director and artist in residence Luk Perceval is creating in NTGent The Sorrows of Belgium, a trilogy in which he focuses on three dark passages in Belgian history: the exploitation of Congo under Leopold II in Black, war-time collaboration in Yellow, and the terrorist attacks in Brussels in Red.
Luk Perceval is not only an internationally acclaimed director, but also a yoga teacher. During the rehearsals for Yellow he offers yoga classes to both the actors and the audience.
In The Hour of Truth, Luk Perceval gives the stage to actors, to talk about their life for exacly one hour. They apply with short videos in which they introduce themselves. If they are selected, they work for two weeks together with Perceval, who gives clear restrictions in order to focus on the essential. The outcome is a series of existential lessons in the art of acting that will be presented during the season.
Luk Perceval was born on May 30, 1957 in Lommel (Belgium). He graduated as an actor from the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp in 1979. For five years he worked at KNS (Royal Dutch Theatre, Antwerp) and played several leading roles there. He became an acting teacher at the Conservatory in 1981 and remained so until 1989.
In 1984, he founded the Blauwe Maandag Compagnie with Guy Joosten and celebrated triumphs with pieces such as “De Meeuw” (The Seagull) (1988), “Zomergasten” (Summer Guests) (1989), “Strange Interlude” (1990), “Wilde Lea” (Savage Lea) (1991) and “Voader” (Father) (1991). For these last two productions he was awarded the Oscar De Gruyter Prize for best direction. In 1997 he directed “Ten Oorlog” (To War), an adaptation of the royal dramas of William Shakespeare. Tom Lanoye and Perceval wrote the text and both received the Thalia Prize in 1999. “Slaughter!” (The German translation of To War) also premiered in 1999 at the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg and was a huge success. It was voted the best piece of the year in Germany and selected for the Theatertreffen in Berlin (2000). It was awarded the Innovation Prize.
In 1998 he founded Het Toneelhuis in Antwerp, a merger between the Gentse Blauwe Maandag Compagnie and the KNS in Antwerp. There he made controversial productions such as “Franciska, Aars!” (Ass!) and “Andromak” (invited to the Theatre Festivals of Avignon and Edinburgh and awarded the Friedrich Luft Prize for the best piece of 2003).
International interest was inevitable and in 2005 he left for Germany for the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz as one of the house directors. He was also invited as a guest director to the Münchner Kammerspiele, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Wiener Festwochen and Salzburger Festspiele, among others.
In 2009 he left Berlin and was appointed house director of the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg. For the staging of “Jeder stirbt für sich allein” (Every Man Dies Alone), a stage adaptation of Hans Fallada's novel, Perceval was awarded the German Faust Prize in 2013. Not long after, Perceval was awarded a Stanislavsky Award by the International Stanislavsky Foundation in Moscow for his contribution to the theatre on an international scale.
Together with NTGent’s ensemble, he made a unique version of “Platonov” in 2012, directed “FRONT Polyphonie” in 2014, which was a coproduction with Thalia Theater Hamburg, and in 2016 he made “The Grapes of Wrath”, again with Thalia Theater and “Snow”, based on Orhan Pamuk's novel.
- update May 2019