Troubleyn | Jan Fabre


Troubleyn/Laboratorium is the home of Jan Fabre and his company in the north of Antwerp. However, the building is much more than just a rehearsal space with its own art collection... Research and training are also important parts of the mission.



Troubleyn/Laboratorium has been the operating base of Jan Fabre and his company since 2007. This former 'Ringtheater', which was destroyed by a fire in 1974, has been rebuilt (by architect Jan Dekeyser) with the help of subsidies from the Flemish Community and Antwerp City Council, and also with financial support and a considerable contribution from Troubleyn/Jan Fabre.

This complex (about 2,500m²) has two rehearsal rooms of production proportions with integrated performer facilities. These include a theatre hall with a 12.5 metre curtain with a stage of 17 x 12 metres and a spacious multipurpose studio with a floor of 10 x 8 metres, parquet, and natural daylight.

Troubleyn/Laboratorium is situated on the edge of the so-called "Seefhoek", a working-class district of Antwerp and Jan Fabre’s birthplace! It is known as an ‘area under development’. Troubleyn/Laboratorium can be a driving force behind the social redevelopment of  Seefhoek. The very presence and commitment of a renowned international artist like Jan Fabre and his company and the daily contact with local people, catering establishments, and traders play a strategic part in this respect.

Moreover, what makes Troubleyn/Laboratorium special is the collection of integrated works of art, which are part of the building. There are works on show from figures such as Marina Abramovic ‘07, Chantal Akerman ‘08, Ben Benaouisse ‘13, Guillaume Bijl ‘07, Michaël Borremans ‘10, Dirk Braeckman ‘07, Romeo Castellucci ‘07, Hugo Claus ‘07, Jan Cremer ‘13, Berlinde De Bruyckere ‘10, Peter De Cupere ‘10, Carl De Keyzer ‘07, Luc Deleu ‘07, Wim Delvoye ‘07, Robert Devriendt ‘10, Braco Dimitrijevic ‘07, Bruna Esposito ‘07, Jan Fabre ‘87-‘07, Michel François ‘08, Alberto Garutti ‘07, Stefan Hertmans ‘07, Irwin collectief ‘90-‘12, Stef Kamil Carlens ‘08, Jan Lauwers ‘07, Antun Maracic ‘08, Attilio Maranzano ‘08, Kris Martin ‘07, Enrique Marty ‘07, Tjen Meylemans '15, Jorge Molder ‘12, Johan Muyle ‘04, Maryam Najd ‘08,  Orlan ‘07, Mikes Poppe '15, Pascal Rambert ‘15, Bernardi Roig, Matthias Schoenaerts ‘07, Rob Scholte ‘07, Chiharu Shiota ’15, Paul Sochacki ‘13, Nedko Solakov ‘12, Berend Strik ‘07, Ritsaert ten Cate ‘03, Luc Tuymans ‘07, Erik Van de Mert ‘07, Koen van den Broek ‘10, Johan Van Geluwe ‘10, Hans van Houwelingen ‘07, Jan Van Imschoot ‘07, Joep Van Lieshout ‘10, Wim Vandekeybus ‘08, Koen Vanmechelen ‘07, Angel Vergara ‘13, Peter Verhelst ‘07, Fabien Verschaere ‘12, Henk Visch ‘07, Bob Wilson ’07. This list of artists grows longer each year.

The richly illustrated publication ‘Troubleyn/Laboratorium’ offers a unique view inside the building and gives a list of the works of art. It also covers the history of this ‘little Bourla' and the contribution made by Troubleyn/Jan Fabre. 

‘Just by leafing through the book, with Nadia Sels, Frank Peeters, Luk Van den Dries, and Koen Van Synghel as easy-going guides who give more insight into the works, the building, and the language of Fabre in six short and readable essays, you can roam through the magnificent property where a touching, amusing, or disruptive image lurks behind every corner, in every room, or in every corridor. Why isn’t every house designed in such inspirational fashion? It shows Fabre as someone with a genuinely great love of the arts. A heart that beats just as fast at night as during the day.’ (Els Van Steenberghe in Knack, April 2016)

> More information about this publication by Mercatorfonds can be found here.

> More images of the artworks can be found here



This special location is also available as a rehearsals space as well as a unique venue to host your event. You can find more practical information about the building on our information brochure and our technical rider

Guided tours are organised regularly throughout the year. As well as giving the history of the building and introducing the company’s work, company employees take the public on a journey through the more than 70 works of art which are inextricably intertwined with the building. These guided tours are designed for groups of between 10 and 20 people. More guides can be deployed for bigger groups.

> More information via


Scientific RESEARCH

In recent years, Jan Fabre and his company have committed themselves to basic comprehensive scholarly research into Jan Fabre’s theatre language and the guidelines which Fabre uses in training to develop the expressive powers of his performers.

In this research, knowledge of the theatre, performance, and dance enters into confrontation with modern technology and methods from the (exact) sciences. With insights and knowledge from various disciplines (physiology, optical science, and theatre science), they work on a scientific foundation for Fabre’s views on ‘performing’ and ‘performer training’. As a matter of fact, the performances of the exercises are recorded and analysed in the S.P.O.R.T.S lab of Antwerp University Hospital (UZA).

This research is a joint venture between Troubleyn/Jan Fabre, Antwerp University (UA), the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (AP University College), and Antwerp University Hospital (UZA). Indeed, they work closely with these partners in order to arrive at beneficial and high-quality results. In the meantime, some insights have been published in specialist journals. 

Work is in progress on a publication (Prof Dr Luk van den Dries, Prof Dr Jan Gielen, Prof Nathalie Roussel, Prof An Hallemans, Mark Geurden et al.) which brings together the principles regarding ‘physiological performing’ and the series of exercises from  Fabre’s 'Guidelines for a performer in the 21st century'.



Twice a year, master classes are given by European ‘grandmasters’ (producers, choreographers, dancers, and actors). These series with ‘Masters’ are aimed at professional actors, dancers, and performers, who want to upgrade their knowledge and skill. 

In recent years, master classes have been organised with Anatoly Vasiliev, Emio Greco, Franz Marijnen, Viviane De Muynck, Raimund Hoghe, Theodoros Terzopoulos & Savvas Stroumpos, Peter Brook and Robert Wilson.

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