The company Gare Centrale

Founded in 1984 by Agnès Limbos – 15 original shows, short or long – creates object theatre as others take the train – tours her shows here and very often away – to this day more than 3500 performances – organises master classes – object theatre festivals – accompanies young theatre artists in their artistic projects – directs general audience shows… And hopes to continue dissecting life on her poetic operating table for a long time.

 

She is supported by grants from the Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Belgium.

 

She devotes herself, principally but not exclusively, to creating new pieces, to the distribution and production of theatre pieces for children and for the general public. She organises trainings, workshops about object theatre, participates in international laboratories or residential research projects with other artisans of this type of theatrical language.

 

From 2002 to 2008, she organised a biannual international festival in Brussels in December in collaboration with the Théâtre de la Balsamine bringing together shows, small playful forms, open stages for creators and exhibitions around object theatre (in 2002: Festival “En Voiture” (“Jump in”), in 2004: Festival “Les Invendables” (“Unsellable”), in 2006: Festival “Le Grand Comptoir des Objets Perdus” (“The Trading Post of Lost Objects”), in 2008 “Pochette Surprise” (“Surprise Package”).

 

Since the founding of the company, all of the shows have immediately distinguished themselves in numerous festivals – theatre, puppet, or children’s theatre – outside of Belgium. Let us cite, for example, tours in Israel, England, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, France, Portugal, Brazil… For each creation, the company surrounds itself with artistic and technical collaborators with whom a certain loyalty has been established over the years and the productions: Anne-Marie Loop, Françoise Bloch, Sabine Durand, Gregory Houben, Nicole Mossoux, Guillaume Istace, Antoine Blanquart, Françoise Colpé, Thierry Hellin, Taylor Lecocq, Samy Caffonnette, Nienke Reehorst… (amongst others) as well as numerous technicians, lighting designers, set builders: Didier Caffonnette, Marc Lhommel, Georges Marinof, Karl Descarreaux, Jean-Jacques Deneumoustier, Thom Luyckx, Nicholas Thill… amongst others.

 

Agnès Limbos has developed a personal approach as actress-theatre artist. Through her shows and her collaborations, she tries to create a popular theatre of quality, full of emotion, based on the contradictory understanding – fairy/reality, tragedy/comedy – of the universe, and based on the strength of instinct and on the search for a continually evolving visual and physical language.

 

Between travelling, trainings, and creations, she has broadened her regard, her technique and developed her own way of creating theatre. She is an emblematic figure in object theatre, this art of detail that dazzles the eyes and stimulates the unconsciousness. Agnès Limbos has always been passionate about the power of the object as an actor in its own right and about the ability of the actor to manipulate it. There is no misappropriation, the objects are not considered as props but as fundamental elements of the piece, imposing their presence as a foundation to the acting. Everything is calculated, imagined and precisely thought out so as to create an entity, a real figure at the heart of the protagonists of the story.

Agnès Limbos

Her childhood:

born in Marchin (near Huy, BE) on May 22, 1952 to a teacher father and a courageous mother.

6 children were born of this union (2 of whom died much too early).

Passionate about theatre from childhood, focused on the contemplation of trees and the sky, she discovers miniature objects in soap boxes (gifts from Bonux) at a very young age.

In 1959, the family moves to the bush in the Belgian Congo, experiences the riots and flees via the Congo River when Congo declares independence.

In 1960, she spends a year with her bothers and sister with her Uncle Pierre, pastor of a little village in the Brabant Wallon, where she falls in love with the smell of incense, the virgin, the joy of ringing the bells in the early morning and the pleasures of the countryside, hay, jams and the vegetable garden of Madame Mathilde, their governess.

Adolescence: 

very classical and boring; catholic school for girls in Brussels.

Experiences the demonstrations of May ‘68 in very good company. With Yolande Moreau and their friends, they spend their time in the streets, in the cafés and discover the joys of heated political discussions, painting, reading poetry, theatre and subversion. She no longer feels alone!

Then…

1970-1973, Université Catholique de Louvain (she starts in political and social sciences and graduates in philosophy).

 

As of 1973, she begins to wander in the world in a self-taught journey

which amongst other things leads her to be a puppeteer with the Théâtre de Toone in Brussels (1973), an adventurer on the road in Canada and the United States (1974-1975), an actor with the Théâtre des Jeunes de la Ville de Bruxelles (1975-1976).

In 1977-79 she is a student at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecocq in Paris.

From 1980 to 1982 she joins the company “Tres” in Mexico with whom she creates 2 shows, learns Spanish and tours the shows in Mexico and in Europe.

In 1984, founds the Compagnie Gare Centrale in Brussels and since then has has multiplied her collaborations.

In 1987 she met Marie Kateline Rutten who would be her precious collaborator for almost 30 years, her loyal friend until her brutal death on April 7, 2016.

In 1987, meets Didier Caffonnette; 2 children are born from their union: Joachim in 1989 and Samy in 1995.

In 2011, she meets Sylviane Evrard and begins a close and precious administrative collaboration within the company.