Pleasant Island



Pleasant Island is a documentary theatre performance in which Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere navigate the spectator through audio and images from their research on Nauru, a small island-state in the Pacific Ocean.


Once called ‘Pleasant island’ by Europeans, the island can be considered as a metaphor of our current day and age. After the exhaustive exploitation of the island’s vast underground phosphate resources, the island was left in economic and ecologic ruins. Today Nauru is most known for hosting refugee detention centres in return for money from Australia. This sparked the government of Nauru to ban most journalists and researchers from entering the island, in an effort to keep negative news from reaching the outside world. Meanwhile, the island risks to be swallowed by the ocean as a result of the rising sea level. 


Drawing on interviews and conversations with residents and migrants on the island during a rare visit to Nauru, Huysmans and Dereere encounter the limitations of a world that is intent on endless growth. The performance uses two smartphones to guide the spectator through personal recordings of conversations, whatsapp messages, images and skype-calls. Through their phones, the performers are both close to and far away from this microcosm where colonization, capitalism, migration and ecology intertwine.

Watch the trailer here


By & with: Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere

Dramaturgical advice: Dries Douibi 

Sound mixing: Lieven Dousselaere 

Production: Campo 

Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Spielart Festival, 

De Brakke Grond, Spring Festival, Kwp Pianofabriek,

Veem House for Performance, Kaap

With the support of: VGC

Residencies: Beursschouwburg, Kaap, Buda, LOD,

Stuk, De Grote Post, De Brakke Grond, Kwp Pianofabriek,

Veem House for Performance

Thanks to: all conversation partners


Read the review of de Volkskrant (NL) here

Read the review of Le Monde (FR) here

Read the review of De Theaterkrant (NL) here

Read the review of De Standaard (BE) here

Read the review of Des Mots De Minuit (FR) here

Read the review in Asahi News (JP) here

Listen to the audio review of De Zendelingen (BE)  here

Listen to the interview on Klara (BE)  here

Read the interview in De Morgen (BE) here

upcoming dates

Apr 2, Zona K, Milano (IT) *cancelled

Apr 3, Zona K, Milano (IT) *cancelled

Apr 22,Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry (UK) *cancelled

Apr 23, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry (UK) *cancelled

Apr 30, CC De Schakel, Waregem (BE) *cancelled

May 12, Auawirleben, Bern (CH)​

May 13, Auawirleben, Bern (CH)​

May 26, Freiburg Festival, Freiburg (DE)​

May 27, Freiburg Festival, Freiburg (DE)​ *cancelled

June 26, Festival Belluard Bollwerk, Fribourg (CH)​ *cancelled

Jul 11, Festival Theaterformen, Hannover (DE)

Jul 12, Festival Theaterformen, Hannover (DE)

Aug 15, Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich (CH)

Aug 16, Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich (CH)

Aug 17, Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich (CH)

Sep 1-8La Bâtie, Geneva (CH)

Oct 6Contact Theatre, Manchester (UK)

Oct 8Artsadmin, London (UK)

Oct 9ACCA, Brighton (UK)

Oct 11, Cambridge Junction, Cambridge (UK)

Oct 13, Festival d'AutomneParis (FR)

Oct 14, Festival d'AutomneParis (FR)

Oct 15, Festival d'AutomneParis (FR)

Oct 16, Festival d'AutomneParis (FR)

Oct 17, Festival d'AutomneParis (FR)

Nov 16, Arge Kultur, Salzburg (AT)

Nov 17, Arge Kultur, Salzburg (AT)

Nov 21, Het Paleis, Antwerp (BE)

Nov 28, CC Ter Vesten, Beveren (BE)

Dec 4, De Beursschouwburg, Brussels (BE)

More dates to be announced soon

past dates


Mar 25, Festival Cement, 's-Hertogenbosch (NL) *cancelled

Mar 24, Festival Cement, 's-Hertogenbosch (NL) *cancelled

Mar 21, Points Communs, Cergy-Pontoise (FR) *cancelled

Mar 20, Points Communs, Cergy-Pontoise (FR) *cancelled

Mar 18, Pilar, Brussels (BE) *cancelled

Mar 13, Leietheater, Deinze (BE) *cancelled

Mar 11, Arenbergschouwburg, Antwerp (BE) 

Mar 5, Theatre Commons, Tokyo (JP)

Mar 6, Theatre Commons, Tokyo (JP)

Feb 7 Rosendal Teater, Trondheim (NO) 

Feb 6 Rosendal Teater, Trondheim (NO) 

Jan 11 Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (AT) 

Jan 10 Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (AT) 


Nov 29 Akcent Festival, Prague (CZ)

Nov 22 Kunstencentrum Nona, Mechelen (BE)​

Oct 31 Pact Zollverein, Essen (DE)

Oct 29 Spielart, Munich (DE)

Oct 28 Spielart, Munich (DE)

Oct 26 De Grote Post, Ostend (BE)

Oct 25 Campo, Ghent (BE)

Oct 24 Campo, Ghent (BE)

Oct 23 Campo, Ghent (BE)

Oct 4 Materiais Diversos, Cartaxo (PT)​

Sep 25 De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)​

Sep 24 De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)​

Aug 8 (21:00) Theater Aan Zee, Ostend (BE)

Aug 8 (15:00) Theater Aan Zee, Ostend (BE)

Aug 7 Theater Aan Zee, Ostend (BE)

Jun 27 Latitudes Contemporaines, Lille (FR)​

May 21 SPRING Festival, Utrecht (NL)​

May 20 SPRING Festival, Utrecht (NL)​

May 13 Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE)  

May 12 (20:30) Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE) 

May 12 (15:00) Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE) 

May 11 Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE)  

May 10 Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE)  *premiere