© Danny Willems


Valentijn Dhaenens (°Ghent, 1976) is a theatre and film actor. He graduated from the Antwerp Conservatory in 2000 as a master in the Dramatic Arts under Dora Van der Groen.

He is a co-founder of theatre company SKaGeN and has acted in performances by, amongst others, NTGent, KVS, Kaaitheater and Ontroerend Goed. The wider audience may be more familiar with Dhaenens through his film and television work, including De helaasheid der dingen (Felix Van Groeningen), Stranger in Paradise (Guido Henderikx) and Girl (Lukas Dhont). The films De helaasheid der dingen and Girl received ample international acclaim, including at the Cannes film festival, where Girl was awarded the Camera d’Or. Dhaenens took on the lead role in Dutch documentary fiction film Stranger in Paradise, which was nominated for the European Film Awards, opened the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2017 and took home the IDFA Special Jury Award. The film also received several accolades at international film festivals. Dhaenens’ theatre breakthrough came with BigmoutH, an ode to rhetoric, which was followed by the equally successful monologue SmallWaR. Both productions were written by Dhaenens and toured worldwide.

For KVS, Dhaenens created Domestica and Onbezongen. The English version of the latter premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 as Unsung, which won him the Fringe First, one of the most important awards at the festival. 

In 2019 he performed in Knaus with Alexia Leysen and he joined the cast of Vita Siyo Muchezo Ya Watoto, a play by Frédérique Lecomte. Together with Lecomte, Dhaenens visited East Congo, where they created the performance together with local artists.

From 4 September 2020 you can see Dhaenens on our stage in collaboration with Bruno Vanden Broecke for the first time, in the performance Jonathan.


17.09.2017 - Zevende dag - interview 'Stranger in Paradise'
19.10.2017 - BRUZZ - Politieke theatermonoloog 'Onbezongen' in première
19.10.2017 - BRUZZ - Acteur Valentijn Dhaenens wordt politicus in 'Onbezongen'
19.10.2017 - Klara - Pompidou op donderdag 19 oktober
23.08.2018 - De Standaard/ Cultuur - Valentijn Dhaenens wint prijs op Edinburgh Fringe

(high-res images which you can use free of charge with attribution)