Without blood

You lie on your side.

You pull up your legs.

You curl up like a shell and shut your eyes tight.


A shot, the sound of a window breaking.

You hear your father choking in pain.

The quiet voice of your brother, more shots.

And then a terrifying silence.


In the course of a pitiless act of revenge in a night of frenzy, a girl and a boy exchange a single glance. A brief moment, almost like love at first sight. Unwittingly, and without a word being spoken, they are henceforth forever bound to each other.


Revenge and attempts at reconciliation are timeless. Inne Goris has adapted Alessandro Baricco’s novel Without Blood for the stage, with music by Dominique Pauwels.

Without Blood is about the consequences of war, and the solidarity between perpetrator and victim.

What comes after the suffering? How can you avoid being maddened by the hunger for revenge?

Focus Knack wrote about this performance: “Without Blood feels like being underground, beneath a trapdoor, far from the world of hostility and bloodshed, and watching an encounter that is rooted in horror and sadness, but in which danger and hostility slowly melt away until only respect, intimacy and love remain. The explosive percussion gives way to high-pitched singing.” – (20/04/2016)

Pictures (c) Koen Broos

Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood
Without blood


  • TEXT Peter Verhelst
  • BASED ON "Senza Sangue" (Without blood) by Alessandro Barrico (translation Manon Smit, Uitgeverij De Bezige Bij)
  • MUSIC Dominique Pauwels
  • WITH Johan Leysen, Lieve Meeussen & Aja Ademi/Mila Baeyens
  • MUSICIANS (RECORDED) SPECTRA (Tille Van Gastel (flute), Dirk Descheemaeker (clarinet), Pieter Jansen (violin), Bram Bossier (viola), Jan Sciffer (cello), Luc Van Loo (piano) Frank Van Eycken (percussion)) directed by Filip Rathé, Annelies Van Hijfte (soprano)
  • SCENOGRAPHY Stef Stessel
  • COSTUMES Greta Goiris
  • REALISATION COSTUMES Catherine Picqueray, Claudine Grinwis
  • LIGHT DESIGN Stef Stessel, Johan Vandenborn
  • SOUND Pino Etz, Marc Combas
  • PROJECTIONS Pascal Poissonnier
  • WITH THANKS TO Sarah Peire, Diane Vandecruys
  • PRODUCTION LOD muziektheater
  • COPRODUCTION Kaaitheater, LIFT Festival, SPECTRA, House On Fire
  • COMMISSIONED BY LIFT Festival and presented in London with Crying out Loud in association with
    The Place
  • WITHOUT BLOOD is a House On Fire project supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union. 
  • FRENCH TRANSLATION Monique Nagielkopf


  • http://www.houseonfire.eu
  • http://http://ec.europa.eu/culture/
  • https://uitin.gent.be/agenda/search?query=ingentsgezelschap
  • https://stad.gent/vredeshuis/strijd-mee-voor-vrede

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