English speaking theatre in Antwerp: meet BATS!

BATS (British American Theatrical Society) has been bringing a wide variety of stage productions to English speaking audiences in Antwerp for over 60 years now. They have their own theatre (the “Little Theatre”) at Paardenmarkt 111 and recently I attended their production of Dracula. Here’s the review I wrote for them, and if that makes you think you should get tickets for their next show in January, then continue reading for all the info and links you need ….

A BLOODY GOOD NIGHT AT THE LITTLE THEATRE

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“Dracula” by Stephen Dietz, performed by  BATS vzw, at The Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt

Kids love Hallowe’en but for grown-ups, October and November can be a bit of a bleak time as the days get darker, yet Christmas cheer still seems a long way off.

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Getting with the program

This year, BATS production of Dracula (Dir: Robert Meyvisch) was -literally -just the ticket for anybody who shares my feelings of autumnal glumness. And it was most certainly not for children. I went to see it on Hallowe’en night and it was sold out, so I was pleased to have booked my seat.

I wasn’t familiar with this play version of the story by Stephen Dietz. Naturally as an English undergraduate, I’d read the novel, and also The Liz Lochhead play version, both of which I love.

BATS Little Theatre is a very small venue for a very big story, so the staging had to be cleverly done with characters frequently positioned on stage performing lines that also had a semi-narratorial function -for example, Jonathon’s accounts of his time at Dracula castle v. his fiancee’s experience back at home, at the point where she receives his letter. This really worked, and the feeling of the various settings -and the distance between them -was very successfully conveyed.

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Photo: Robert Meyvisch

Visually this production was very pleasing and stylish -again, this is an achievement in a smaller venue. The use of the bed as a central focus for much of the action was simple yet effective, emphasising -with its changing colour schemes of black/ red and black/ white – its association with illness, sex and death.

The combination of the traditional and the contemporary was spot on: the traditional elements were all there in the form of its Victorian feel, the madness, the inclusion of all the Vampire lore we would expect (plenty of garlic and unwitting invites to cross the threshold) and a satisfying quantity of blood, vampire-induced agonies and horrid red mouths. I delighted in the creepy hand shadow effect -a nod to traditional horror movies (especially Nosferatu, 1922). The more modern edge was provided by the costumes which I loved -these all had a steam-punk element: a carefully placed accessory on a boot or hat made all the difference.

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The enthusiasm, imagination and commitment of the cast to be faithful to the story was evident -it sometimes had the feel of a murderous pantomime because the story and characters are ones which as adults we feel as familiar with as children do about Cinderella or Peter Pan -but it was steam-punk, blood-bespattered panto for sure. For the grown-ups. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that BATS will consider doing something similarly macabre every Hallowe’en.

♦     ♦     ♦

AND NEXT …

Every year BATS stages a pantomime. If, like me you grew up with panto as an essential part of your childhood around Christmas and new year, you will be pleased to know that BATS delivers the traditional pantomime stories, in the traditional way, with plenty of corny jokes, songs, a Dame and lots of audience participation. If it’s not part of your childhood, well, I am willing to bet your kids will love it. This year’s production is the story of Aladdin, and will be shown at Theater ‘t Eilandje. You can order your tickets HERE, for one of three performances in January 2018.

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This is just a taster of what BATS is all about. If you would like to find out more, you can go along to one of their Open Evenings, which will resume next year: the first is the Spring Open Evening on Saturday, 17th of March 2018.

Images courtesy of BATS VZW

(except program image which is from @nessascityblog insta)

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 1st, 2nd and 3rd December

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HERE’S YOUR GOOGLE MAP (as used by Sinterklaas himself)

Friday

China Light opens at Antwerp Zoo. It’s a little bit more expensive than the events I usually include here, but it has become something of an annual feature of the Antwerp winter scene, and -if it’s dry – it’s worth seeing. The colours and lights are pretty and magical. It’s on until the 14th January.

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China Light at Antwerp Zoo

BATS (English speaking theatre) have their last Open Evening of 2017, so head along to the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt if you would like to get involved. It’s a busy time of year for them, as they gear up for their annual panto -this year it’s Aladdin!

Saturday

Kids can come and see Sinterklaas at Grand Bazar shopping centre today.

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Band 110

For grown-ups: Band 110 are playing at Fabrik, near Theaterplein. They’re my complete and unbiased favourite.

Update: band 110 are sorry to announce that due to illness this event has been cancelled 😦

Oxfam shops around Antwerp are promoting fairly traded gifts today -at their store in town (Minderbroedersrui 33).

 

Sunday

Goegekregen are at Park Spoor Noord today, in the sheltered area by Bar Noord, from 9am -6pm, offering the usual array of second hand clothing, books, toys, antiques, vinyl, accessories, vintage & retro goods to suit every budget.

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Park Spoor Noord

Meanwhile, another Antwerp favourite – Markt van Morgen  -is on Kloosterstraat from midday to 6pm. This Christmas edition will include a food truck, DJs and Gluhwein.

Kids can come and see Sinterklaas on Meir and at Grand Bazar

At around this time of year, various neighbourhoods organise a communal winter event (look out for words like ‘wintervuur’, ‘XYZ Wintert’ etc). This one is on Schengenplein -a new development which opened in the Cadixwijk in summer (it’s right near the Kattendijkdok which you will know if you have ever hung out in Bar Paniek during warmer weather).

Shops in Antwerp will be open today for Sunday shopping, and on Sundays throughout December in Antwerp -including on Christmas Eve.

The weather will continue pretty chilly (4- 7 degrees). Saturday will be coldest. Showers are likely on Sunday.

 

Miscellaneous
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Sinterklaas takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here..

De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.

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This weekend: 7th, 8th & 9th April

 —–NEXT POSTING: 13TH APRIL —–

 

Here’s the Google Map for this weekend!

Friday

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BATS (English speaking theatre in Antwerp) hold their monthly open evening at their Little Theatre and bar on Paardenmarkt. Swing by from 8.30pm to find out about their current program or about getting involved with one of their productions.

 

 

Saturday

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Kunst In Huis  ©Artur Eranosian

 

It is Slow Art Day – go and take a look at the works on show at Kunst in Huis Antwerpen, Montignystraat 18-20. Kunst In Huis (Art In The Home) acts as an art library. If you register with them you can borrow (or buy) modern artworks for affordable prices.

 

You can pick up the pace a bit on Saturday night from 9pm at the HAVN Church (Italielei 8) with Zurenborg Beats – sounds provided by DJs from bars around Dageraadplaats. 5 euros in before midnight.

Sunday

If you are an RAFC fan you probably don’t need to be told that today the club and its entourage will be making its way through the town and to the Bosuil stadium as it marks its return to the Belgian first division after 13 years, with a victory parade. This begins at 10.45 on Grote Markt.

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pick up a bargain at Steegsken 6

You are spoiled for choice today if you like to rummage. Here are your second-hand market options:

Second hand clothing and fashion sale at Parkloods from 11 -6pm.

If you are in the old town, swing by Steegsken 6 for a small garage sale which is well worth a visit -throughout April, on Sundays from 11 -6pm. I picked up some nice shades and a new Converse bag there last weekend, for an absolute steal …

Fleamarket and second hand goods on Sint Jansplein from 9am, and at Kinepolis from 10am

And they are freecycling ( a ‘geefplein’) at Costa Sint Andries from 11am where the motto is ‘you give what you can; you take what you need” -bring your own unwanted goods to donate to others who can use them.

Also on Sint Jansplein -last day of the funfair.

For a quieter Sunday afternoon (2pm -6pm), you can take part in a guided walk for free through Berchem (from E.Rijckaertplein at the entrance to Berchem Station) courtesy of Natuurpunt and learn about the trees that grow in this area. Pre-registration is preferred via wandeling@natuurpuntantwerpenstad.be

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Hurrah!  Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat again from 12 -6pm, and they are 10 years old this year. This market offers clothing, jewellery, accessories, stationery and household goods made by local creatives. There are always snacks and drinks available, and it is a great place to pick up a special card or gift that you won’t find in the high street

(pic courtesy of Markt van Morgen).

The weather is set to be dry, mild and cloudy on Friday and Saturday, but will get quite a bit warmer and sunnier on Sunday, with a possible top temp of 20 degrees.

Miscellaneous

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The Beast

You may have noticed a huge inflatable dinosaur on Astridplein. For three euros you can enter “The Beast” …

If you have kids aged 7-13 on their Easter break and needing to fill their days, they can do so at Speel -O-Rama for just 2 euros per day from Monday 10th April -Thursday 13 April (inclusive) 10am-4.30pm over at Kiel. There’s a swimming pool there, so make sure they take their swim things and a towel.

You can still register for the Antwerp 10 Miles next weekend.

 

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …

 

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This weekend: 3rd, 4th & 5th March

*****  NEXT POST: THURSDAY 9TH MARCH  *****

Hello, March!

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for all the places mentioned here. Wouldn’t want you getting lost.

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HAP  Food Trucks

JEFF the Youth Film Festival finishes up this weekend with films, activities and workshops taking place until (and including) Sunday.

HAP Food Trucks festival is on over the whole weekend at Park Spoor Noord Cargo Bar.
Friday

There’s a free mini- expo all about chocolate opening at MAS. Chocolate Secrets will be on until the 3rd September.

Permeke Library kicks off Youth Book Month at 6pm, with an evening aimed at 12-15 year olds. The book months has the theme of gender, identity, role-models and stereotyping. The kick-off event includes readings, music, a drink and a goodie-bag for those who attend. Register by emailing info.permeke@stad.antwerpen.be

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And don’t forget that- it being the first Friday of the month- it’s a good chance to had along to the Open Evening at  BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt 111 at 8.30 to find out about their upcoming shows, or to find out about getting involved in BATS English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.

Saturday

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-18-54-39In response to a query on last weekend’s post, alas, I can’t find much in the way of second hand markets in town, this weekend. On Saturday, the nearest one is this one (left) in Deurne (also happening on Sunday)

Kinepolis on the Groenendaallaan is holding a free exhibition of volunteer work opportunities in the Antwerp area, from 1- 5pm.

Sunday

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shoppers on Meir

The first Sunday of the month always means Sunday Shopping in Antwerp city centre. If you are shopping in Grand Bazar, they have a Circus Atelier activity for kids, between 1 and 5pm.

The weather will continue to be largely unimpressive with temperatures between 9 -13 degrees. Sunday will feel cooler and there is the chance of showers on both days.

If you are in practice for the Antwerp 10 Miles, see below for a training run hosted by Sportoase.

Miscellaneous

If you have children (aged 8-14) interested in the Children’s University event on 19th March, you can register them from now. You might also want to know that March is Youth Book Month.

We are fast approaching the very end of the Stadhuis 450 expo, which closes at the end of this month. If you have been meaning to go but haven’t, then time is running out ….

Talking of running -you can now register for the Antwerp 10 miles in April. And Sportoase are holding training runs (10.30 –Sunday, Groenplaats) to help you get in shape for it.

Finally – would you like to write a guest post for Nessascityblog? As you are probably aware, I post on Thursdays, weekly. I’d like to include a guest post for after the weekend is over, but before the new post is out (so Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday). I’d like posts in English which tell personal Antwerp stories -yours. Where are you from? What are you doing in Antwerp? Why? And what are your experiences of living and/ or working in Antwerp? What are the pleasures and challenges of adapting to life here? You don’t need to be Shakespeare and you don’t need to have English as your first language. I will proof-read and edit posts if necessary. Please get in touch via the About page if you would like to contribute. If you have a different idea for an Antwerp-related post I’d also love to hear it.

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— NEXT POST: THURSDAY 9th MARCH —

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This Weekend: 3rd, 4th & 5th June

(New Google Maps feature: this is in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of this post)

Friday

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The first Friday of the month is always Open Evening at the Little Theatre at BATS. Go along and meet the crew if you are interested in being involved in English speaking theatre in Antwerp. It’s also a good chance to pick up tickets for their famous Variety Show, which has a 1950s theme this year.

From 6pm it’s Streat XXL at Felixpakhuis on Eilandje -free entry.

Over the whole weekend it’s the queer arts festival Strangelove at Het Bos. This begins on Thursday –check the full program here.

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Markies Book Fair

 

 

Also over the whole weekend, opening today is a stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -open from 10am -6pm each day (and next weekend too). It’s a good place to pick up bargains and gifts, with a wide selection of books for kids. Most books are in Dutch.

 

 

 

Saturday

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De Quaeye Werelt

Today and Sunday it’s the moment to time-travel back to 1477 and De Quaeye Werelt which is a thoroughly enjoyable event for people of all ages, and takes place at Sterkshof, part of the Rivierenhof domein. It’s on from 10am – 6pm both days. Many re-enactors travel from all over Europe to pitch their heavy canvas tents and set up home, or a stall for

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A market stall at De Quaeye Werelt

the weekend. There are demonstrations, re-enactments, music, market stands and a big noisy battle to watch (14.30pm). There is a lot for kids to enjoy, and the beer and snacks are always excellent.

MARTA, the famers’ market takes place on Kattendijkdok today, near the summer bar Bar Paniek and Born In Antwerp HQ, from 9am.

Head along to Sint Andriesplaats for Brasspartij at 2pm: six cafés in the area are going to be hosting this event and there will be brass bands from Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as food and beer trucks on the square.

There’s another big fleamarket on Sint-Jansplein from 8am -6pm.

For runners, it is the Deurne 10 miles (with shorter parcours for those who don’t want to run the full 10).  It costs 10 euros to register and starts at the Bosuilstadion.

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Het Geluk at Het Paleis

If you have any energy left after that, head to Club Het Geluk for the night which starts at 10 and is free until it’s full.

For something more off-beat, head to Dark Annie for a performance of light and video projections, with music, at the Eva Steynen Gallery.

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And a special shout-out to the best basisschool in Belgium: De Bunt who are having their school fête today!
Have lots of fun!

 

Sunday

Ongoing events (see Friday and Saturday) Book market at Zuiderpershuis, Strangelove & De Quaeye Werelt.

It will be your last chance to Tango Under The Bridge at Draakplaats at 3pm, with an extra long final edition of this event that includes live music starting at 8pm.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so the shops in the city centre will be open for Sunday shopping.

More for runners: describing itself as ‘not the longest, but certainly the nicest’ the Sint Andries Run takes place today, with additional entertainment all day on the Sint Andriesplaats -be there at 11am to register at the tent. The first run begins at 1, and it is free to take part.

Catch the film Slumdog Millionaire for a mere fiver (4 euros if you order in advance) at Atlas Antwerpen at 11am.

… And Krugermarkt is taking place on the Krugerplein from midday.

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Apart from cooler temperatures and a little rain on Friday, it is mainly predicted to be warm and dry this weekend but with the possibility of a little storminess on Sunday.

(image: Pixabay)

 

Miscellaneous

*For all the locations mentioned in this post check the Google map for directions. Click on the red pins to get directions from a specific location.

*Summer bar The Next Level is now open above Coffee Labs on Lange Klarenstraat (off Meir)

*Thrillseekers -don’t forget that Sinksenfoor (fun fair) is open on Spoor Oost from midday until 23.30.

*Here’s a link to a .pdf with LOADS of sporting activities for summer 2016 

*Pictures of events in Antwerp from last weekend are now on the Nessascityblog Instagram page, with snaps of Apereau, Antwerp Strongman Run, AIS Graduation and Lambermontmartre, which unfortunately suffered due to the weather -hopefully it will be dry for this event next month.

new-instagram-logo_1-xlarge_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8If you are on Instagram and attend an event in the area (or snap a beautiful Antwerp location) -especially if you read about it on this blog -please hashtag it #nessascityblog to contribute to a stream! I’d love to see your images, as it is impossible for me to make it to everything that I feature on the weekend posts. I usually try to get to 2-3 of them though.

 

Have a great weekend!

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This weekend: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th May

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Theaterplein

Thursday is Ascension Day  (‘Hemelvaartsdag’ in Dutch) with Belgian schools also taking Friday off to make a long weekend. There is going to be a big fleamarket on Theaterplein, one from Skrap on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken (10am -10pm) and a fabric market on Groenplaats.

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Looking up from Bar Gloed terrace

 

 

Also worth knowing is that another summer bar –Bar Gloed -has just opened. The kitchen is open from 9am -9pm daily. It’s on the 4th floor of The Antwerp Tower.

 

(A night club -Klub Goud- will be opening on the 21st floor soon …)

 

 

 

 

There are a couple of events which take place over all four days:

Antwerpen Proeft is a food and drink festival at Waagnatie which is near Eilandje. You can get tickets per day, or for all four days. It takes place inside the events venue, but also outside at Bocadero, – a summer bar at this location, which opens officially next weekend on the 13th.

Another four day event is the Zeezichtfeesten on Dageraadplaats, with performances and activities for all ages.

Friday

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BATS have their regular opening evening on the first Friday of every month from 8.30pm. Go and join them at their theatre bar if you would like to find out more about being involved in English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.

 

Grand Bazar is open for Mother’s Day treats and offers from 13.30 -5.30pm (also on Saturday)

 

Saturday

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International Family Equality Day is celebrated in Park Spoor Noord today, at an event hosted by Het Roze Huis whose purpose is to bring together and celebrate LGBT families. Check the program and register via this link.  Bring a picnic!

 

 

 

 

 

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image courtesy of Handgemaakt

 

Another edition of Handgemaakt (handmade) market in Kavka (on the Oudaan, opposite the big police station building) from 1pm -6pm. Free entry. I got some very pretty little pieces of jewellery here as Christmas gifts at the end of last year. Get a last minute Mother’s Day gift with a difference (see Sunday).

There’s a record fair at the bar Bato Batu on Lange Nieuwstraat, 12 -6pm, and MARTA (farmers’ market) takes place on Kattendijkdok between 9 and 4. MARTA is going to be a regular fixture on the first Saturday of each month.

 

Sunday

Sunday is Mother’s Day in Belgium  and in various countries around the world (not to be confused with the specifically Antwerp Mother’s Day on August 15th each year. Because we like to be different).

Bouger bouger is a nice neighbourhood event in Borgerhout on the Krugerplein food drink, DJs, a fleamarket and lots of space to play for kids.

 

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works on the Frankrijklei, showing the old city wall.

 

Did you know that the roadworks on the Leien have unearthed a section of the Antwerp city wall built by the Spanish in the 16th?

On Sunday between 11 and 5pm you can go and see it (on the corner where Maria-Theresialei meets Frankrijklei).

 

 

 

 

There’s a Markt van Morgen from midday on Kloosterstraat -a market for local designers and creatives selling art, jewellery and accessories. There will also be food and DJs. Should you perchance have neglected to buy mum a gift, this would be a good place to put that right.

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SKETCH is back, in Plein Publiek -its mission is to engage everyone in drawing and it provides the materials for you to join in, and local artists to inspire you. Even if you don’t want to draw you can come and watch the artists sketch and have a drink.

It’s the final chance to be involved in the Coming World Remember Me project at CWRM @ Het Steen where you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag.

 

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The weather is promising to be great -no, really, it is! No showers forecast this weekend, and a possible max of 25 degrees on Saturday, so get out and enjoy all the outside events without packing a bunch of raincoats and umbrellas. It might even be time to break out the sunscreen – especially for kids. Have a sunny weekend! (image from Pixabay)

 

 

AND ….. Nessascityblog is now on Instagram.

 

 

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This weekend: April 15th, 16th & 17th

Friday

There’s free live music at The Irish Times (Steve Jones) at 10pm, and if you are around earlier, you can see Augustana (currently supporting Dixie Chicks at Lotto Arena!) at Cafè Ami at 3pm for a matinée. If you are looking for after-work drinks, Gusta is serving from 5pm with music from Böky Bros. Gusta is also a useful address to know if you need gluten -free and dairy-free resources.

Saturday

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image from AIS

A big shout out to the Antwerp International School in Ekeren! Today is their International Day where all the various communities come together to show off their nation’s food, drink, and culture. There’s much to see and enjoy -both indoors and outdoors. It only happens once every two years and is a chance to see the school at its very best!

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It’s a day to get planting, if you live in Antwerp. You can pick up a free sack of potting soil, courtesy of Stad Antwerpen, between 11 and 4pm today as part of Dag van de Potgrond -an initiative to encourage residents to add some greenery or flowers to their street. Pick up at Cargo Summer Bar (Park Spoor Noord) or at coStA.

Independent record stores celebrate Record Store Day today. In Antwerp, this will happen in Coffee & Vinyl from 10am and in Fatkat Records from midday with in-store performances.

Sunday

It’s Flanders’ largest running event: The Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon! Good luck to everyone running today. Here’s the schedule if you would like to go and cheer the runners on. You can cross the river by free ferry on the day of the run, between 11.30 am and 7.30pm (Steenplein -St Annastrand)

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If you prefer a less energetic type of recreation you could Travel The World in 80 Games (that’s board and table games) at Atlas on Carnotstraat for free. It’s not far from de Coninckplein where the book fair will be taking place right in front of the library between 10am and 4pm.

 

 

 

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Rommel!

 

This week’s free flea market takes place at Skate Planet, near Sportpaleis between 10am and 6pm.

 

 

 

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fairytales at Rivierenhof

On Sundays at Rivierenhof, there are fairytale readings (in Dutch) for 5 euros from 2 -3.30pm. Reserve for your kid(s) via the link.

The weather is predicted to be mild (tops of 12 degrees) with the possibility of a some showers on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Some bright spells on Sunday too.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous ….

For beautiful Antwerp views …did you know that during the summer period the roof of MAS museum is free and open until midnight, Tuesday to Sunday?

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Steen

… and the project Coming World Remember Me has started and will continue until the 8th May. At workshops at Steen, you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag.

It is free to take part but you need to register by calling 03 292 36 51 or mailing info@vredescentrum.be

Sporting A is offering free basketball coaching for kids aged 6- 14 years of age every Wednesday from 20th April until 25th May. It’s on in various locations from 2pm -4pm (except Sint-Jansplein where it’s 3-5pm).  No need to register, just show up if you are interested.

And a special mention to BATS Antwerp who featured recently in Fans Of Flanders and whose play Three More Sleepless Nights opens today, until 24th April (tickets here). Break a leg, Batty Ones!

 

Finally …

If you follow the blog on Twitter, you will know that I spent some of my weekend trying to counter some misinformation that was being spread by a Belgian blogger who claimed that the police had issued a warning to stay away from Meir. I tweeted the police who confirmed that this was not true. Members of my own family were on Meir and were clear that all was well there: it was sunny, and packed with shoppers as usual. The police had extra security in some places because of information they had received.

It was a useful lesson in cross-referencing, as one Tweet and a bit of Googling demonstrated that the blogger in question was spreading misinformation and alarm. In times where it is not unreasonable to be anxious about such things, we tend to focus on information sources that seem to keep us up to date (especially if you require the information to be in English). Although I demonstrated that the content of the blog post was false in this regard, the blogger has unfortunately declined to alter it.

I will do my best to keep you informed about the official advice as best I can; here and on Twitter. I am happy to correct any information that is shown not to be correct, so don’t hesitate to let me know if you spot a factual error. However,  Nessascityblog is for weekend event information and I’d like it to stay that way, so here are a couple of sources where you can check for yourself: if there are any precautions advised by the security authorities, I am sure that the Gazet van Antwerpen will report the news very quickly. If you need news in English, check out the very useful Flanders Today. Additionally, you can aways check the page of the Antwerp police, or follow them on Twitter. Another good source for security information in Belgium is the Crisis Centre, who are also on Twitter with tweets in Dutch, French and English. It’s always a good idea to check with sources like those before sharing anything that adds to the general anxiety or causes worry to our loved ones, especially those in other countries. The current situation is that the threat level is at 3, and there are no warnings to stay away from Antwerp city centre, or any other area around Antwerp.

… So enjoy a peaceful, spring weekend in Antwerp!

 

blogcard

 

This Weekend: 22nd, 23rd, 24th January 2016

Friday 22nd

If you fancy starting your weekend with cocktails, head to the Zeppelin Bar on Damplein for a cocktail evening starting at 9pm.

If you are in the Borgerhout area, have a look at the schedule for Borger#8 -an annual collection of art events in galleries around Berchem, Zurenborg and Borgerhout, starting at 6pm. The best way to get from gallery to gallery is by bike. If you don’t have one, you might want to think about getting a pass or year card for an Antwerp Velo.

Saturday 23rd

winterfeestdcplein
publicity shot: De Conninckplein Winterfeest

 

 

 

During the afternoon between 1 and 5pm there is a free “Winterfeest” on de Coninckplein

 

 

 

 

 

 

For your evening entertainment: free cinema at Het Roze Huis  on Draakplaats in Berchem. You can see  Mary Marie (no entrance cost) starting at 8pm.

BATS panto (Little Red Riding Hood) opens at Arenberg Theatre. You might be able to get tickets on the door, but why not order online, to be sure? Word is, that Sunday is very nearly SOLD OUT.

BATSrrhposter
Publicity poster from BATS Antwerp

If you want to be outdoors, have kids to entertain and the weather is not too cold, you might be interested to know that the children’s farm at the Rivierenhof Estate in Deurne is open again after a short winter closure.

RIVIERENHOF
Rivierenhof, Deurne

Music lovers may want to head to Wally’s Groove World which is holding a new stock sale of “’80s funk, soul, disco, Hip Hop, 90’s house, rave, acid, Retro,techno, tech-house” and promises prices starting at just 1 and 2 euros.

If you are thinking of your holidays then head over to Expo for Vakantiesalon Vlaanderen which will help you decide where to go, and continues over the whole weekend.

For children who like to move and dance you might want to take them to Little Brewers Winter Garden for Dansen Met Lotte at 2pm (all kids) and for children aged 6+ from 4.30pm. LBWG is a large, airy, pop-up bar, which is going to be open until the end of February. It’s a really nice space, with some great beers (although personally I recommend avoiding the Gin Fizz which I had a couple of weeks ago, and is made with beer and raw egg white, and most definitely an acquired taste…) Other than that, a really nice hang- out for chilled weekend afternoons, with or without kids.

LBWG
Me at LBWG. Photo by Maurits Brands

 

On Saturday afternoon there is a free classical concert at Het Steen for anyone who might enjoy a bit of Brahms, Schumann or Haydn. It is free and starts at 5pm, but reserving is recommended by calling 03 202 83 80.

STEEN
Het Steen

 

And an exhibition opening in the evening at the Artelli Gallery, of works on paper by Albert Pepermans from 5pm.

Sunday

Ladies only! free Burlesque Fitness trial lesson at Urban City (near Eilandje) from 4.30/ 5pm until 6pm.

Tijdsteenworshop
Kids’ Activity and Workshop Space at Het Steen

Back to Het Steen: for kids 6+, again there is a workshop and activities based around the theme of Time, at Het Steen. I took my 7 year old son to this last weekend and he really liked it.

 

 

The space used for the activities is above the café, and is roomy and attractive. There is no need to register or reserve -you simply walk in and out as you wish from 1pm. It is completely accessible to English speaking children, as well as Dutch speakers.

At the Permeke Library there is a play-based singing & musical activity for kids from aged 2 and a half to 6. This costs 6 euros (4 euros if you get your tickets before the day).

Finally, there is a big second hand sale/ flea market  at the Kinepolis Event Centre (Groenendaallaan 394) for a 2,50 euro entrance fee, from 10am -6pm.

The weather is predicted to reach a max of 6 degrees, with chances of showers varying from 18%- 24%. So …. Brrrrr…

 

This weekend: December 19th & 20th

 

wheel
Christmas Wheel

 

The Christmas market is in full swing and will be on until 3rd January. Go on a clear day for great views from the top of the wheel, down by the Schelde. The bamboo installation on Grote Markt is also very impressive.

If you are looking ahead already, and would like to see a panto in English in the new year, you can order tickets already for the BATS production of Little Red Riding Hood. Guaranteed to provide traditional fun and please children of all ages.

BATS vzw
http://www.batsantwerp.be

Saturday

Fashion Market  Plein publiek

Free showing of the film The Normal Heart at Het Roze Huis at 20h.

Free Art Exhibition at Bar Lucy in aid of Flemish Refugees.

On De Conninckplein, it’s the last day to a “Spiegeltent” which opens on the evening of the 17th December for a four day program by Time Circus. There will be music performances and various activities (face painting, Tibetan music, food workshops) on the De Conninckplein (in front of Permeke library) on the Saturday, which is Family Day.

 

Sunday

rommel

 

Fleamarket at Park Spoor Noord, 10am -18pm, under cover of Park Loods- free. Also one on Krugerplein

 

 

High street shopping can be done on and around Meir, as shops will be open for the last Sunday before Christmas.

books

 

Story reading hour (in Dutch) at Permeke Library at 11am for children aged 4-8. The theme is sleep and dreams. Meanwhile, outside the library there is a revue starting at 14h, costing 2 euros.

 

 

 

winterina
Use the #WinterinA hashtag for your pictures on social media

For anyone wishing to volunteer or donate over Christmas (or beyond), here are a few links:

De Grijze Kat (Antwerp north)

Sant’ Egidio

volunteering via Stad Antwerpen

Moeders voor Moeders

Give away your stuff

 

Christmas day: Shops will be closed; Christmas market will be open; UGC cinema and the zoo will be open; some restaurants will be open and offering Christmas menus. Check for times, as there may be later opening hours for anything that is open. It’s business as usual for Turkish and Moroccan shops.

Have a fantastic Christmas!  I will be posting again on a regular basis in 2016, and possibly before then with some suggestions for the days around New Year.

Thanks so much for following; please leave comments, feedbacks and any suggestions for events which you think I should include.

 

Vanessa

 

 

This weekend: 6th, 7th & 8th November 2015 (also 11-11-15)

I am away for the weekend in Berlin, which is why I am publishing early this week. However,  I have found the following events and activities for you. Enjoy!

Don’t forget the Book Expo is still on (until 11th November).

And this work by Anselm Kiefer recently arrived in Antwerp and can be seen for free, until early next year.

Friday 6th November

How about an evening of music and wine at Vino Teka wine bar with the Down to Earth Diva?

nicolamills
Nicola Mills AKA The Down-to-Earth Diva (pic courtesy of Nicola Mills)

For kids, coming to the end of their autumn holiday, The wonderful Red Star Line Museum is holding an evening event which begins at 18h and costs 5 euros. The children complete the tour as émigrés, and will be taken on their journey by the captain of the Red Star Line.

Also on Friday:

BATS vzw

English speaking theatre group BATS are holding an opening evening. This may interest you if you would like to know more about getting involved, or about upcoming productions. Additionally, there will be Indian music to enjoy. I can guarantee that you will be warmly welcomed at their theatre on Paardemarkt (Belfry Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111, 2000 Antwerpen, Ticket 12 euros on the door; 8 euros for students)

Saturday

This week’s fleamarket will be on St Jans Plein. Hopefully the weather will be as sunny as dry as last weekend!

stjansplein
Autumn on the Sint Jansplein

Sunday

On both Saturday and Sunday (and on Wednesday 11th), Antwerp’s Ecohuis will be holding open days with tours and information about environmentally friendly living. The Ecohuis is a good place to visit with kids, and it also has a nice café on the ground floor.

On both Saturday and Sunday, amateur photography club, fotoklub72 will be holding their annual and free exhibition of their work.

For foodies and kids, there is an Oriental buffet & kids’ corner at Umami. It’s not cheap at 35 euros per adult (15 per child) but it does include activities for the children, such as face-painting and learning to make sushi.

Next week

Don’t forget that Wednesday 11th of November is a public holiday (“Wapenstilstand”) and there will be a large  Flea market on Theaterplein, and an afternoon/ evening SKRÄP market at Antwerp Cruise Terminal, including food, drinks and musical performances, from 1pm -10pm.