Luxembourg could be thought of as something of a laboratory in matters cultural, especially in the world of theatre. Rather than a revolution, it has experienced somewhat of an explosion of talent and in quality since 1995.

In the city centre we can point to seven stages where the programme wouldn’t be
out of place in the world’s great capitals. Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
(Luxembourg City Theatres) specialise in international co-productions with great European theatres, in French and German. Equally they stage classic operas along with avant-garde productions and contemporary dance for which Luxembourg has become a much sought-after destination for internationally renowned choreographers such as Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker or Akram Khan. In all, it is diverse, unusual, of great quality, set in exceptional surroundings and aimed at national and international audiences.

A place for young talents

Beside these, there are some little jewels of theatres, where younger directors, choreographers, actors and dancers can step in, such as the Théâtre National du Luxembourg (National Theatre of Luxembourg, see next page) or the TROIS C-L (Luxembourg Centre for Choreographic Creation). These two places don’t hesitate to break down barriers between disciplines or to venture beyond their own confines. Then there’s the tiny cellar that is the Théâtre du Centaure (Centaur Theatre) a gem that attracts regulars, but also students from the Grande Region. Its constantly renewing audience and welcoming warmth is more usually associated with events like the Avignon Festival.

International pieces

The Théâtre Ouvert Luxembourg (Luxembourg Open Theatre) puts on French-language theatrical adventures in a back-yard building, mixing classical authors with more contemporary ones. As for The Neimënster Cultural Centre situated in the Grund District – a majestic setting surrounded by ancient fortifications – it produces work created within the Grande Region. The repertoire leans as much towards Luxembourg as to international pieces. An audience that comprises the very young, children and adolescents, is catered for by TRAFFO, the arts programme staged at Carré Rotondes, known for its incredibly beautiful and relevant shows.

Experimental projects that cross cultures

Beyond the capital lie other unmissable places where the public is intelligently entertained and perhaps given pause for thought or drawn into some unforgettable adventure. Among these are the Opderschmelz Cultural Centre in Dudelange, a must-see for research, cross-cultural and experimental projects, the CAPe Ettelbruck (Ettelbrück Multi-Arts Centre) that piques one’s curiosity with its mix of theatre and music, the Esch/Alzette Municipal Theatre with the accent on popular theatre but also French- and German-language productions along with dance, and finally the Kultur fabrik, oriented towards different theatrical disciplines. All of these places put on programmes which demonstrate superb diversity and exceptional quality year round – though now, with the rapidly approaching Christmas and New Year celebrations, the theatres are especially active.

By Karolina Markiewicz (The Theatre Federation), published in Discover Benelux issue 12 – December 2014 – Photos: Luxembourg National Theatre

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