login | register
EN  |  DE


Jan Lauwers & Needcompany Sad Face / Happy Face
Part 1: Isabella's Room – The Past

Three stories on human nature – Part 1

Performances within the Trilogy:
1, 3, and 5 August 2008
In English and French with German surtitles

Duration of the Trilogy: approx. 4,5 hours, 2 breaks (45 minutes each)


  • 01 August 2008, 16:00
  • 03 August 2008, 16:00
  • 05 August 2008, 16:00

Print programme (PDF)


Jan Lauwers, Text, stage direction and sets
Hans Petter Dahl and Maarten Seghers, Music
Lemm&Barkey, Costumes
Anneke Bonnema, Text for the Liar's Monologue


Viviane De Muynck, Isabella
Anneke Bonnema, Anna
Benoît Gob, Arthur
Hans Petter Dahl, Alexander
Maarten Seghers, Frank
Julien Faure, The Desert Prince
Yumiko Funaya, Sister Joy
Tijen Lawton, Sister Bad
Misha Downey, Narrator


With his productions Isabella's Room and The Lobster Shop, Jan Lauwers created theatrical works that chronicle the pursuit of happiness in a shocking way through a mixture of contemporary dance, fine art, family drama and modern musical. Together with Das Hirschhaus (The Deer House), commissioned by the Salzburg Festival, the two first parts make up a trilogy that departs from the most mundane to depict the most difficult: a felicitous life together.

Isabella Morandi is a blind 94-year-old woman whose life passes before her once more in a room in Paris. She closes in on a secret of her past, and all the people who meant something in her life appear: her foster parents, her lovers Alexander and Frank – they tell not only Isabella's story, they also sing it. A family drama, a journey through the 20th century, from World War I to the present time, between dream and childhood memories: a tragically humorous musical and an ode to life.

Coproduction of the Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse), La Rose des Vents (Scène National de Villeneuve d'Ascq), Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York), welt in basel Theater Festival together with the Kaaitheater (Brussels) and the support of the Flemish authorities.