Dries Gijsels is one of the driving forces within the Brussels theatre collective Koekelbergse Alliantie van Knutselaars. In recent years, with K.A.K., he created, among others, Office de Tourisme/Agence de Voyage; Life, Death & Television and the kindergarten show Snøw, which he also directed. He also created, in co-direction with Renée Goethijn, No Use For Binoculars (2015) and Totally (2017), both of which premiered at Monty and subsequently played at Kaaitheater, Frascati, nOna, KAAP, C-mine, AINSI, DeWarande, etc., among others.
He is also occasionally active as a directing assistant, including for Ivo Van Hove and Simon Stone, and works as a translator and surtitler, including for Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Collectif La Station, Bronks and Theatre Antigone.
In his work, Gijsels examines the relationship between man and the ever faster evolving technology, and questions the status of reality in a changing world. He dissects the world as we know it and then reassembles it with hooks and eyes to create a universe that is both absurd and surreal. In it, humanity, humour and compassionate ultimate accomplices help him hold his own in a world that is becoming increasingly elusive.
Photo: Anna Muchin
In TOTALLY, Dries Gijsels and Renée Goethijn try to create a performance in which nothing can go wrong. A preventive solution is provided for every possible problem that could arise. The possibility of an empty hall, a forgotten piece of text that changes the whole meaning, fire, a flood, the death of an actor on stage, everything is covered. Together with performers David Chazam, Lotte Diependaele, Micha Goldberg and Femke Stallaert, Gijsels and Goethijn examine how far they can go in this.
They start from the question: if nothing can go wrong, can anything substantial still happen? Can we still deal with the fundamental uncertainty that comes with life? How imbued have we become with the belief that reality is completely controllable? Do we still dare to allow the unexpected? Do we still dare to get lost?
TOTALLY shows a reflection of a touristised world where chance and uncertainty are systematically shunned for the sake of comfort, convenience and efficiency. So expect a highly uncomfortable, extremely uncomfortable and utterly inefficient depiction of what can happen, when nothing more can happen.