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European theatrical festival FEATS is back in Belgium from 17 to 20 May

FEATS24 in Antwerp
16:55 07/05/2024
BATS vice-chair Adrian Veale previews the upcoming festival in Antwerp

Antwerp's British American Theatrical Society BATS is preparing to host a festival with English-speaking amateur theatre groups from all over mainland Europe.

Running from 17 to 20 May, it's the eighth time that the annual four-day Festival of Anglophone Theatrical Societies FEATS is staged in Belgium’s port city

FEATS 2024 follows the same tried and tested formula, centred around a competition: four evenings of three one-act plays, all in the running for awards for acting, directing and stagecraft.

This year’s competition brings together six German, two Dutch, a French and a Swiss group, playing alongside Brussels-based groups ITG and ECC.

The plays are assessed under the expert and critical eye of a professional adjudicator from the UK, Chris Baglin. For theatre buffs, the adjudicator's remarks at the end of the evening give a real insight into how and why theatre works (or if not, why not!). And this year there is another challenge - no curtains or wings in the theatre.

His assessment - and the extent to which the plays have adhered to the festival's strict rules on timing and staging - form the basis for the highly-coveted awards.


The FEATS audience in Antwerp will comprise both fans of the competing groups as well as local theatregoers - English theatre is pretty popular in Flanders. Everyone is eager to share their views or critique of the plays during the intervals, so for everyone attending, there will be no shortage of conversation.

But there's more. All weekend, afternoons are filled with Fringe performances, workshops, improv, readings, and tours. And they are all free of charge.

BATS are extremely excited to have secured the use of the Zuiderpershuis complex. This impressive 19th-century building is a former power station for Antwerp's docks, now a cultural powerhouse with a pronounced industrial look and feel. It features all the facilities needed for the festival: a theatre and dressing-room/green room, space for the Fringe, as well as a bar and various courtyards for meetings and socialising.

The Zuiderpershuis is located in the bustling Zuid area of Antwerp, set in a newly-renovated park close to the new river promenade, the city's main art galleries and the antiques neighbourhood, plus loads of cafés and bars.

Day tickets are available for €25 (€18 students/over 65s); €80 for the whole festival.

17-20 May
Waalse Kaai 14

Written by Adrian Veale