Are we not drawn onward to new erA


Ontroerend Goed

Directed by Alexander Devriendt


October 23, 2023, 22:00

October 24, 2023, 15:00

October 24, 2023, 20:00

WHERE: Canal Side Theatre

Duration: 75 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in English, with Chinese and English subtitles


The simplest response to this phenomenal show is just to say, "wow".

Mark Ludman, British Theatre

A playful, ambiguous work, whose ultimate message could be joyfully optimistic or deeply despairing – and is probably both. It's vitally important theatre that seems perched precariously on our current make-or-break moment, a show that never preaches, yet reveals possibilities, fears and hopes.

David Kettle, The List

A technically dazzling, emotionally devastating show about humanity's point of no return.

Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

About Are we not drawn onward to new erA

Life must be lived forwards, but it can only be understood backwards.


Like its title, this performance is a palindrome. You will be able to see it forwards and backwards. Because some people believe humanity is moving forward, while others believe the opposite. Some say the world is coming to an end, others call them doomsayers.

No matter who's right, in our quest for progress we have dramatically changed the world we live in. Are our actions irreversible or can we undo them?

The performance presents a visual metaphor for this crucial moment in our future history. It traces the process of humans moving towards their downfall or salvation.

Are we not drawn onward to new erA won the 2019 de Fringe First Award and was nominated for the Total Theatre Award in Edinburgh.


Director: Alexander Devriendt

Cast: Giovanni Brand, Leonore Spee, Ferre Marnef, Britt Bakker, Kristien De Proost, Vincent Dunoyer

Dramaturgy: Jan Martens

Scenography: Philip Aguirre

Light/Video/Sound: Jeroen Wuyts, Seppe Brouckaert

Lighting Design: Babette Poncelet

Technical Assistance: Brecht, David, Pepijn

Costumes: Charlotte Goethals

Composition: William Basinski

Arrangements: Joris Blanckaert

Finishing off statue: Daan Verzele, Jelmer Delbecque, Jesse Frans

Photography: Mirjam Devriendt

Internships: Morgan Eglin, Tim De Paepe

Many thanks to: Ilona Lodewijckx, Luc De Bruyne, Matthieu Goeury, Simon Stokes, Björn Doumen, Les Ballets C de la B, everybody involved in the pre-study 'koortsmeetsysteemstrook' @ Toneelacademie Maastricht & our fantastic test-audiences

The performance features William Basinski’s 'Disintegration Loops' by Spectra Ensemble

Ontroerend Goed in coproduction with Spectra, Kunstencentrum Vooruit Gent, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Adelaide Festival & Richard Jordan Productions Ltd.

With the support of the Flemish Government and the city of Ghent.

The project would like to express its thanks to Ms. Weng Shihui and Ms. Lin Xinbei for their assistance, with special thanks to the Consulate General of Belgium in Shanghai for their generous support.

About Alexander Devriendt

Alexander Devriendt is the Artistic Director and one of the founders of the Belgian theater performance group, Ontroerend Goed. His past work includes the creation of the personal theater trilogy (The Smile Off Your Face, Internal and A Game of You), the celebrated teenage play (Once, and for all we're gonna tell you who we are so shut up and listen). His most recent productions are £¥€$, Funeral and Are we not drawn onward to new erA. His plays have won several awards and are performed all over the world—recently in Shanghai, the U.S. and Edinburgh.

About Ontroerend Goed

Belgium-based Ontroerend Goed creates immersive theatre performances. The collective invites the audience not only to watch, but also to become part of the performance: spectators as voters who vote out actors, a wandering in a labyrinth of mirrors and avatars to meet yourself, one-on-one theatre, the audience at the controls of the financial system...

Ontroerend Goed invariably seeks unpredictability, in form and content. Their performances have won numerous awards at international festivals over the past 25 years.

Ontroerend Goed tours worldwide and creates remakes of their productions in other languages: there are versions in Russian, French, Mandarin, Cantonese and Kazakh, among others.

Ontroerend Goed is Alexander Devriendt, Charlotte De Bruyne, Karolien De Bleser, Angelo Tijssens, Aurélie Lannoy, Leonore Spee, Samir Veen, Julia Ghysels, Remi Cosijn, David Bauwens, Wim Smet, Jitske Vandenbussche, Hannes Pieters, Luna Boon & Justine Boutens. 

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