Lecture ‘Embrouilleurs!’ and aftertalk with author Jan Sobrie and translator Esther Gouarné

05 May 2021
Public talkonline
How to give theatre authors and texts from Flanders and the Netherlands more international visibility?

'Woestzoeker' van Jan Sobrie en Raven Ruëll opgevoerd door Theater Antigone en Theater Artemis (c) Kurt Van Der Elst

At the Regards Croisés Festival in Grenoble, the French translation of Jan Sobrie’s play ‘Wildekid!‘ is presented. The festival is a meeting place for contemporary playwrights with readings, creations, round tables and workshops.

Theatre Texts from the Lowlands

In 2018, Flanders Arts Institute, Flanders Literature and Dutch Performing Arts have joined forces to give theatre authors and texts from Flanders and the Netherlands more international visibility. We are doing this in various ways: with translations of complete theatre texts and text fragments, by organising workshops and promotional events abroad, and by creating contextualising material for a better understanding of the art of playwriting in the Low Countries. This online dossier is part of this extensive process. 

Nesxt to presentations in Oostenrijk (from 8 to 13 June, with amongst others Nico Boon, Anna Carlier, Freek Mariën) We also travel to the French-speaking regions. We started a cooperation with the French project partner Maison Antoine Vitez, providing translations and presentations and expanding our online special.

The first presentation will take place on 5 May, as part of Regards Croizés in Grenoble. After a reading of the French translation of the theatre text ‘Embrouilleurs! (‘Wildekid!’) will be followed by a discussion with author Jan Sobrie and translator Esther Gouarné, moderated by Anne Courel.


You can watch the recording of the lecture and the debriefing on 5 May at 20:30 on the websites troisiemebureau.com en www.theatre-contemporain.net.

About the text

‘Wildekid!‘ – or in French ‘Embrouilleurs!’ – is the story of Sammy and Ebenezer, two children who are confronted with the violence of poverty and its consequences in their daily lives, at school, in their neighbourhood, in their way of understanding the world.

About the authors

Jan Sobrie (b. 1979) is a Belgian actor, director and playwright. He has worked for various Flemish theatres, including KVS, Theater Antigone, LAZARUS, KOPERGIETERY, BRONKS, HETPALEIS, MartHa!tentatief and Theater Artemis. In 2010 Sobrie won SABAM’s Gouden Klaproos for his writing. His text and production of ‘Bekdichtzitstil’ was nominated for the Nederlands Theaterfestival in 2014 and won a Zilveren Krekel. Together with Raven Ruëll, Jan Sobrie created the children’s show ‘Wildekid‘, which was awarded the KAAS & KAPPES prize in 2019.

Esther Gouarné (1986) attended dance and theatre classes and worked with several theatre companies on various productions. In 2014 she obtained her Ph.D. in Theatre Studies with a thesis on contemporary Dutch-language collectives. As part of her post-graduate research, she began translating theatre texts herself. Since 2018 she has been a member of Maison Antoine Vitez in Paris and has been working on surtitles for shows by Marjolijn van Heemstra and Warme Winkel. She translated ‘Wildekid’ by Jan Sobrie into French, and together with Mike Sens produced a French translation of ‘Spraakwater’ (‘Ivre de mots’) by Dutch author Frank Sierra. 


  • Text: Jan Sobrie
  • Translated from Dutch to French by Esther Gouarné
  • With the support of Maison Antoine Vitez, international center for theatre translations
  • Lecture: Lou Martin-Fernet, Samuel Martin and musician Benoît Cancoin
  • Director: Benoît Peillon
  • In cooperation with: Espace 600