Michael De Cock (1972), the artistic head of the KVS, is an author, director and actor. He has a degree in Romance Languages and Literature, wrote his thesis on the theatre of Nathalie Sarraute and graduated with great distinction. After this he trained as an actor at the Conservatoire in Brussels and then started work as a freelancer in his various areas of expertise. From 2006 to 2016 he was the director of 't Arsenaal in Mechelen. As from the 2016-17 season he will be setting out the artistic policy of the KVS.
The list of De Cock’s publications currently comprises about twenty titles. His works are increasingly finding their way onto the international book market. They have been translated into French, English, German, Italian, Turkish and Japanese. He has received numerous prizes, the most important being the ‘Zilveren Griffel’ (2011) and the ‘Boekenleeuw’ (2015). For the last couple of years he has focused on writing scenarios. For example, he adapted his own play Achter de wolken for a feature film. The film was directed by Cecilia Verheyden and has been a major success in Flemish cinemas. After ten weeks it is still on the programme at many cinemas and has been seen by more than 120,000 people. Its premiere was in Liège and Namur at the end of April 2016 and in the autumn it will be released in German cinemas. In the meantime, De Cock has written a scenario based on his series of Rosie en Moussa books, which the VAF selected for Cinekid Lab, an international project for family films. De Cock came up with the story of Rosie and Moussa at the request of Brussel deze week. It describes the lives of two children in the big city. The illustrations are by Judith Van Istendael. The film will be directed by Dorothée Van Den Berghe. A film about children in Brussels, shot in Brussels!
Michael De Cock regularly publishes articles in Knack magazine, and articles and opinion pieces of his also appear in De Standaard and De Morgen. He has been writing about migration in Europe for the last twenty years. For the book Aller / Retour, De Cock travelled along the frontiers of Fort Europe together with the photographer Stephan Vanfleteren. In 2013 he made a series of documentaries on the same theme for Radio 1 under the title In het spoor van Hannibal. In Flanders, he is one of the experts in this field and is often asked for his opinion or to contribute opinion pieces on the topic in various media.
Director – theatre-maker
As a director he has made a name for himself with such productions as BASH (NTGent), HEDDA (after Hedda Gabler), De Pruimelaarstraat, HAVEN 010, Exit the King, Three Sisters and Death of a Salesman.
In 2009, with Younouss Diallo (FOTTI), he co-directed Serisse, after Chekhov’s The Cherry Garden, with Senegalese and Belgian actors.
For Zomer van Antwerpen 2013 he directed Hannibal, a historical open-air show coproduced by Le manège Mons et al.
De Cock introduced the topic of migration into the theatre years ago, with such productions as Haven010, Febar and Saw it on television/DIDN’T UNDERSTAND (performed on the back of a truck).
Michael De Cock has had international success with two projects, also on the back of a truck, and is developing networking from Istanbul through Ljubljana, Limoges and Zomer van Antwerpen to London. In addition, thanks to his background in the Romance languages, De Cock maintains intensive contacts with French-language companies in Brussels, Wallonia (Mons), France, Senegal and Canada (Montréal).
After ten years, De Cock is bidding t,arsenaal in Mechelen farewell and moving to the KVS. He wants to build up a gender-equal, intergenerational and intercultural ensemble and theatre that takes up the challenges of the metropolis and all its opportunities. In his view, there is nowhere better to do this than in Brussels and the KVS.