Skip to content

The Manx Cat Project | Episodes 4·5

Écarlate la Compagnie | Elsa Poisot | Sonia Boutitie


Tuesday 20 Sept | 7pm | FR
Saturday 24 Sept | 6pm | FR

Duration: 1h30

Place: Riches-Claires

The Manx Cat Project is developed at Écarlate la Cie. This is the 5th act of the multi-faceted project “La Deuxième Scène”. It was conceived to create access to a repertoire that promotes the notion of Matrimoine (women’s heritage) and to fight against inequality in the field of performing arts.

5 young stage directors and 3 writers were commissioned with a simple yet complicated dramaturgic intention: shed light on women and works from the national archive that have been removed from history or downplayed. This would be done through the production of a original 4h stage performance consisting in 5 theatrical acts of 45 mins each. The young creators are assisted by a support committee which is made up of various experts on the dark sides of history, decolonisation, anti-sexism, etc.

A century of Belgian feminism – this unknown history that weaves together these 5 acts. How remember the names of Adèle Hauwel or Suzan Daniel ? Yet, these figures, with their courage, humour, genius and occasionally bad tempers, have radically transformed the society in which we live. Without them, we would live in a world without contraception and legal abortion. A world without LGBTQI rights, without recourse against wage inequality, and one that we struggle to imagine, so much so that the results of their hard work with its multiple forms of individual, amorous and collective fulfilment seems to be taken completely for granted.

Episode 4: The Nele Marian case (From the archived works of Nele Marian and the pan-African congress)
Adaptation and direction Marie Diaby | Assistant director Judith Ribardière | Cast: Marie Diaby, Tamara Kalvanda, Estelle Strypstein

Episode 5: Suzan·ne(s) (From the archives on Suzan Daniel)
Writer Marthe Degaille | Director Leïla Devin | Cast: Rebecca Fels, Maya Lombard, Lauryn Turquin


Episode 4: The Nele Marian Case
Two boxes, the only two containers dedicated to a racialized woman at the Archive for Women's History. They contain what remains of the personal effects of Mathilde Idalie Huysman, a Belgian-Congolese author and poetess who published under the name Nele Marian. Two boxes to reconstitute the journey of this woman born in 1906 from a relationship between a Belgian soldier and a young girl from the Lisala region. Two boxes. It's not much to sum up a life that spans a whole century, not much to understand the ambiguous path of a woman who expressed herself under the colonial era, under the Nazi era and then no longer expressed herself at all. Two boxes is the starting point of this show, which brings together two actresses and seeks to cultivate the memory of what has not been remembered.
Episode 5: Suzan·ne(s)
The very first Belgian penal code was made in 1965 and mentioned homosexuality for discriminatory purposes. Prior to it, the concept of ‘homosexual’ did not exist, and the notion of lesbian even less so. This was likely due to a great number of people having to marry due to societal and social pressure (which was less often the case for their male counterparts). Born in 1918, Suzan Daniel (Born Suzanne de Pues) made an unprecedented move in 1931: at the age of 14, she was the first Belgian woman to publish a film review. In the letters to the editor of Film magazine, she sang the praises for the film “Jeunes filles en uniforme”, a lesbian movie made by Léontine Sagan. On February 14th, 1933, she wrote “I like her. Alas, she is a woman”. During the 1950s, she trained herself in psychoanalysis and took part in countless international congresses on sexual equality. She tried to discuss the place of homosexuality and more particularly, the place of lesbianism in Belgian society. In 1953, she founded the Belgian Cultural Centre, the first Belgian LGBT association, at which she was the only lesbian. Some months later, one of the members reportedly exclaimed, “I will not support a woman being in charge”. Exhausted, embittered and at the end of her fight, Suzan left her life of activism. The first LGBT archive created in 1996 bears her name. Touched by this endeavour, she left many records there. These documents are precious, particularly because Suzan Daniel is the only francophone, lesbian woman to have left visible traces of her homosexuality amongst the files there and thus participating in the laborious reconstruction of a Belgian LGBT history at the beginning of the 20th century.
DIRECTORS Laure Lapel, Solène Valentin, Marie Diaby, Lou Joubert, Leila Devin | AUTHORS Marthe Degaille, Marie Vaiana, Capucine Berthon | CAST Marie Coyard, Julie Jaroszewski, Souâd Toughraï, Léa Quinsac, Lara Van Drooghenbroek, Lauryn Turquin, Rebecca Fels, Maya Lombard, Rokia Bamba, Duy Nhân N’Guyen, Yasmine Yahiatene, Estelle Strypstein, Marie Diaby Tamara Kalvanda, Yasmina Al-Assi | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Judith Ribardière | STAGE DESIGN La Collective Crabe - Camille Rolovic, Clémence Jussaume, Hélène Beutin, Marie Menzaghi, Nathalie Moisan | LIGHTING AND SOUND Ines Isimbi, Lou Van Egmond, Françoise Pierre | COSTUMES Solène Valentin, Milena Forest | DRAMATURGICAL SUPPORT COMMITTEE Jeannine Dath, Marie-Cécile Henrion, Anne Thuot, Penda Diouf, Clotilde Moynot, Camille Khoury, Miriam Youssef
ARTISTIC DIRECTION AND PRODUCTION Écarlate la Cie - Elsa Poisot et Sonia Boutitie | COPRODUCTION Mars - Mons arts de la scène, La Maison poème | Midis de la poésie – FrancoFaune, FAME, Arts et Publics, le Centre des Arts Scéniques, la SACD, le CED-WB, la Coop et Shelter Prod | WITH HELP FROM Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles aux services Culture, Égalité des chances et Éducation Permanente, la Cocof aux services Culture et Egalité des chances et lutte contre les discriminations, de la Région Bruxelles Capitale (Equal), de la Loterie Nationale | WITH THE SUPPORT OF la Chaufferie - Acte 1, de la Bellone, de Passa Porta, du Festival Voix de Femmes, du Carhif, de Mundaneum, des Archives et Musées de la Littérature, de la Balsamine, du CC Uccle, de Garage 29, du BAMP, du Théâtre Océan Nord de la Fabrique de Théâtre, de la Ville de Bruxelles au service Culture, de, ING et du tax-shelter du gouvernement fédéral belge.
Scroll To Top