Gardenia – 10 years later

Touring production

One of the events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Teatro Franco Parenti, the return of Gardenia, the play that the choreographer Alain Platel, the director Frank Van Laecke and the musician Steven Prengels created on the basis of an idea by Vanessa Van Durme. An international “cult” that examines the theme of gender transition and the search for identity with tenderness and interest.

Piccolo Teatro Strehler

25 June 2010. At the NT Theatre in the city of Ghent in Belgium, the play Gardenia made its debut; based on an idea by Vanessa Van Durme, a famous Belgian actress who has played an important role in fighting prejudice against LGBTQ+ people. Inspired by the film Yo soy asì (This is me) by Sonia Herman Dolz, in which the closure of a drag queen cabaret in Barcelona serves as an opportunity to examine the private lives of a memorable group of ageing artists, the choreographer Alain Platel, the director Franck Van Laecke and the composer Steven Prengels create a truly unique project. Gardenia explores the turbulent lives of nine extraordinary people. Rather than a work of fantasy, it is an eyewitness account, an intimate story that examines hope and illusion both touched on and lost. Seven people of a certain age walk with ease along the line between male and female, in contrast and harmony with a “young man” and a “real woman”. Each of them is in search of something, each of them has their own fascinating tale to tell.
Ten years on from a tour that saw more than 200 performances, from Avignon to Berlin, from Amsterdam to Barcelona, via Canada and Russia, the company is once again reunited; one of the cast members has died, but the other eight are on stage once again to present themselves, “ready to take to the stage/to thrill and amaze/to laugh and remain silent/to sparkle and shine, once again, somewhere over the rainbow”. 

The play is part of the events for the 50th anniversary of the Teatro Franco Parenti and is performed on Thursday 8 September at 7.30 PM and on Friday 9 September at 8.30 PM


Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes

The Playbill

Gardenia – 10 years later
directed by Frank Van Laecke, Alain Platel
music Steven Prengels
based on an idea by Vanessa Van Durme
created and performed by Vanessa Van Durme, Griet Debacker, Andrea De Laet (†), Richard “Tootsie” Dierick, Danilo Povolo, Gerrit Becker, Hendrik Lebon, Dirk Van Vaerenbergh, Rudy Suwyns
an NTGent & les ballets C de la B production
in coproduction with Le Volcan Scène nationale du Havre
with the collaboration of the Lombardy Region/Department of Autonomy and Culture for the Lombardy Region
in collaboration with Teatro Franco Parenti

A show in English with Italian surtitles
Stalls, central 30 €; side 23 €
Balcony, central 15 €; side 12 €
Teatro Franco Parenti, via Pier Lombardo 14, Milan
+39 02 59995206

Other shows on this theater