• Theatre
  • 90 minutes

De Duivels

  • Friday
    21:30 - 23:00
  • Saturday
    21:30 - 23:00
  • Sunday
    21:30 - 23:00

In the early 17th century, the provincial French town of Loudun was hit by a wave of hysteria. A nun, Jeanne des Anges, was accused of being possessed by a demon. The local authorities had reason to fear this demon as it terrorised the convent by night with its obscene behaviour. The progressive and sexually promiscuous priest Urbain Grandier was soon identified as the likeliest culprit for having sent the demon. This accusation kicked off one of the most infamous witch trials in history. All this occurred against a backdrop of significant scientific progress, the stirrings of the Enlightenment and increasing atheism. The “cancelled” devils fight back: they return stronger, more powerful and more rigidly conservative than ever. Loudun is transformed into a grand political theatre and the nuns and Grandier into actors in a legal spectacle that wrestles with the new social issues of the day. Are the nuns really possessed by an evil supernatural force or is this a collective attack on centuries of the oppression of women? Is Grandier guilty or is he the scapegoat for a too-rapidly changing world? People came from all over Europe to the town to watch the public trial, which reached all levels of society. Kings, clergy, academics and citizens alike puzzled over the truth of the allegations and the consequences of the verdict. Over the centuries since, many artists and historians have weighed in on the strange events of those years. The non-profit Krapp vzw took its primary inspiration from the nonfiction novel The Devils of Loudun (1952) by Aldous Huxley, and the historical work The Possession at Loudun (1970) by Michel de Certeau. The performance presents this historical case in the form of a theatrical trial with the public as the jury. This jury is confronted with a society suffering a crisis of faith: the old unassailable truths shaken to the core by fear and doubt.


Loudun and Bruges were extremely similar cities in the 17th century, which makes Bruges a particularly good setting for a performance of this piece. The city still retains many traces of the late medieval world: The Devils brings them back to life. The Reie Festival’s thematic pillars – faith, ritual, the battle for truth – and the accompanying sources, from religious relics and remnants of convents to a wealth of documentation on the persecution of witches, and paintings such as “The Cloister of the Sisters”, fit seamlessly with Krapp’s research.

Mats Vandroogenbroeck (°1993, Asse) is an actor, theatre maker and writer. He has worked as an actor and maker with, among others, the Kopergietery, studio ORKA, Blauwhuis and the artist collective ZUIDPARK. His fascination with the occult is a common thread running through his theatre work.

Nona Demey Gallagher (°1995, Ghent) is a theatre maker and has worked with, among others, Ontroerend Goed (Loopstation), KOPERGIETERY, Beeldsmederij De Maan (plastiekBERTRAND), De Studio (Dreaming Not Sleeping) and CAMPO/ De Koe (In Koor!). In addition to theatre, Nona also studied Flemish Sign Language (at Doof Vlaanderen), and in collaboration with Imke Mol created E R O T I C A, a performance in which she transposes erotic poetry by female authors into Flemish Sign Language. In 2023, Nona is directing Krapp’s The Devils, and her new radical feminist project Up Your Ass at CAMPO.

Timo Sterckx (°1995, Ghent) studied drama at KASK. He then went to work for De Roovers and for Louis Janssens and Ferre Marnef of Cie Desnor in their production Toverberg. With Louis, he also created The Greatest Show On Earth, for which he memorised an entire book. He has also appeared in projects by CAMPO/ Cie De Koe, Theater Malpertuis and Julie Cafmeyer. For his own work, Timo has been selected for TAZ four times.

Following their receipt of the #TAZ19 Playwriting Prize for Through The Looking Glass, Timo, Mats and Nona de Jong founded the Krapp Company, and created Weird Tales, a feminist horror film on stage about the life of Mary Shelley.


Concept Mats Vandroogenbroeck, Nona Demey Gallagher and Timo Sterckx
Performers Mats Vandroogenbroeck, Timo Sterckx, Fleur Perneel, Bastiaan Vandendriesche, Maria Zandvliet and Fiene Zasada
Text Mats Vandroogenbroeck
Director Nona Demey Gallagher
Dramaturgy Dina Dooreman
Costumes Eleni Ellada Damianou
Assistance Valentijn Dhaenens
Translation Trevor Perri, Anne Vanderschueren
Production manager Catherine Vervaecke
Distribution Saskia Liénard
Producer Krapp vzw & KVS
Coproduction Perpodium, Reiefestival
With the support of De Grote Post, the Belgian Federal Government via Cronos Invest

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