Ontroerend Goed (BEL) - presented in cooperation with ILT Festival

Are We Not Drawn Onward To New erA

The title is the same read forwards and backwards. The performance is too. A metaphor for conflicting world views: Are we moving forward or backward? Whoever is right, we have changed the world. Can we correct it?

May 28 2021 - May 29 2021
Kr. 60 - Kr. 170
Big Stage


“Life must be lived forwards, but it can only be understood backwards.”
– Kierkegaard

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.


– Time Out

“…The simplest response to this phenomenal show is just to say, “wow”.”
– Mark Ludman, British Theatre

“Are we not drawn onward to new erA is an inventive, meticulously choreographed, high artistic commentary on humanity’s collective destruction of the Earth and every person’s responsibility to commit fully to its rehabilitation.”
– Carmen Paddock, The Skinny

“In Are we not drawn onward to new erA Ontroerend Goed shows the eternal human struggle to do good, despite shortcomings.  For as longs as we are still here.”
– Louise de Koning, Theaterkrant.nl

“An admonitory piece about climate change that has a palindromic title and structure to match. And it speaks an initially indecipherable language that makes complete sense by the time the show has come to its bleak but beautiful end. After seeing this, you may never want to hold a plastic bag again.”
– Matt Wolfe, New York Times

“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

“This is one of the most beautiful, most intelligent and committed performances Ontroerend Goed has ever made, on the boundary of visual art and theatre, poetry and politics. The piece looks marvelous (but sounds brutally inaccessible) during the first twenty minutes. These, however, are necessary to enable the masterful twist. Only then the performance turns into a clear, miraculous statement about how we threaten to destroy ourselves and our world.”
– Knack – Els Van Steenberghe

“The question is: what could Devriendt possibly create after this to amaze theatre audiences? Genius.”
– Rudy Tollenaere, Het Nieuwsblad

“Created with charming, almost childlike, simplicity, the skill of the performers and those who conceived the piece cannot be applauded too highly.”
– Simon Parker, Western Morning News

“It’s fine work and compelling viewing from a company who used to be tricksters and who are increasingly deep thinkers.”
– Lyn Gardner, Stage Door


Alexander Devriendt
Angelo Tijssens
Giovanni Brand 
Charlotte De Bruyne
Leonore Spee
Jonas Vermeulen
Ferre Marnef
Karolien De Bleser
Britt Bakker
Maria Dafneros
Kristien De Proost
Vincent Dunoyer
Michaël Pas ​
Musicians: Spectra Ensemble
Tille Van Gastel & Katrien Gaelens (flute)
Pieter Jansen & Wilbert Aerts (violin)
Bram Bossier (tenor violin)
Peter Devos (cello)
Frank Van Eycken (percussion)
Rik Vercruysse/Simon Haspeslagh (horn)
Jan Martens
Philip Aguirre
Light, video & sound:
Jeroen Wuyts
Babette Poncelet
Technical assistance:
Brecht, David & Pepijn
Charlotte Goethals
William Basinski
Joris Blanckaert
Finishing off statue:
Daan Verzele
Jelmer Delbecque
Jesse Frans
Mirjam Devriendt
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 & vores fantastiske testpublikum
The performance features William Basinski’s ‘Disintegration Loops’ by Spectra Ensemble.
Ontroerend Goed in co-production with
Kunstencentrum Vooruit Gent
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Adelaide Festival
Richard Jordan Productions Ltd.