Being born and having to hold out. That’s Tough Shit. Tough Shit isn’t a cripple and isn’t blind. But there’s a plank stuck to his face. That’s Bad Luck. That is his fate. Tough Shit, helpless and awkward, goes entirely his own way, so clumsily it’s to no avail. Which is how he creeps onto the stage. And as soon as he gets started, his world turns out to be a hilarious delight.

Tough Shit has brought a band with him – The Horrible Facts: 6 oversized wooden sound boxes that assist him as both instruments and witnesses. He is imprisoned in his own song, to the rhythm and sounds of his special guest band. A song that cannot be stopped, just like life. It must and shall continue, passionate and intense, because there is no other option. Beyond pointlessness, beyond loneliness, beyond helplessness, beyond the struggle with mortality. With an elated optimism he sings of the art of living. In all its failures, in all its humour. He throws himself into an excess of rhythm, doggerel and emotions and takes this existential serenade to a physically absurd and musically hysterical peak.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT DO YOU MEAN AND OTHER PLEASANTRIES is a concert, an everlasting pop song, a sculptural dance, a sound installation, a stand-upcomedy show, a performance. Through seeming absurdity, Seghers smartly and inimitably exposes art practice and with beauty and hilarity ploughs through the inevitability of our woes. This feast of feelings contains a human life full of love and tragedy.


A creation by
Maarten Seghers

Light, technical manager
Marjolein Demey

Pierrick Drochmans

Assistant to the director, dramaturgy
Elke Janssens

A Needcompany production,
commissioned by FIDENA (Bochum) 2014.

Thanks to Kultuurfaktorij Monty. With the support of the Flemish authorities.

The premiere of WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT DO YOU MEAN AND OTHER PLEASANTRIES took place at the FIDENA festival in Bochum on 21 and 22 May 2014.

This production was nominated for the 2015 Prix Jardin d’Europe for choreographers.