What’s on: Infiltrating Ostend’s living rooms


Chambres d’O lets you walk right into private homes and apartments in Ostend for comedy, music, readings and more, while Ghent launches a terribly interesting series on the evolving notions of equality

Chambres d’O

If you’re not keen to face the strong winds and wild sea of the Belgian coast in the winter, here’s something that will keep you warm and cosy inside – inside people’s homes.

Chambres d’O is a living room festival, with performances taking place inside Ostend houses both big and small. Buy a ticket online then create your own programme of music, theatre, dance, literature and even exhibitions. Reserve a spot at each performance ahead of time to avoid disappointment. 26-27 January, across Ostend


That Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz was a member of the Sturm und Drang movement of 18th-century Germany – returning dramatic emotions to a literature seen as having become too rational during the Enlightenment – was only fitting considering a life lived in mental instability. In his late 20s, Lenz spent a few weeks under the care of a philanthropist and clergyman, who kept a diary of his guest’s behaviour. More than 40 years later, the diary was to be the inspiration for the unfinished novella Lenz by Georg Bücher, a valuable inspiration for modernist writers who came after. French director Jacques Osinski and Paris-based Flemish actor Johan Leysen have gotten raves for the stage version, which Leysen now presents in Dutch in Brussels. If you can’t make it, it moves to NT Gent in February. 23-24 January, KVS, Arduinkaai 7

Get tickets now: Women & Children First

Tickets for the various performances and discussions that are part of Women & Children First are flying out the door, so check out the programme now if you want to join in. The series at Vooruit in Ghent is all about the difference between equality and equity and whether prioritising or putting quotas on certain groups makes sense in the 21st century. Does the law apply to different people differently, and is that OK? 29 January to 3 February, Vooruit, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23

Brussels Motor Show

Brussels Expo is never more bustling than during the annual Brussels Motor Show. It’s the 97th edition of the event that finds nearly all brands of cars sold in Europe gathered in one space. See the latest models – including of trucks, recreation vehicles, motorcycles and work vans – and even discover some deals that might have you signing on the dotted line. Special events include a celebration of the Tour de France, which starts in Brussels this year – Eddy Merckx will be signing autographs –activities for kids and a “pit stop bar”. 19-27 January, Brussels Expo, Belgiëplein 1