Nico Sturm: “I also seek comfort in art”

Nico Sturm have busy days. Most recently, he succeeded Reinhilde Decleir at the social theater company ‘Tutti Fratelli’ in Antwerp. The actress was the driving force, the director, the founder, the trigger. In short: the bridge builder of ‘Tutti Fratelli’. Today Reinhilde died two months ago. Long before she left, she asked Nico if he would follow her. He wanted to, but at the same time the director acknowledges that he has very large shoes to fill. Because Reinhilde, it was the galleon figure in the Flemish theater.

Her death was unexpected for him, despite her illness. But Nico kept his word and is now the new head of the company. In addition to this special commitment, he has many other projects underway. On TV, the actor played roles in Clan, De Smaak van de Keyzer, Not Shooting, Patrouille Linkeroever, Witse, Van Vlees en Bloed,… On stage he appeared in Ten War, Parasites, The fairytale brothel, De Gebroeders Leeuwenhart …

Nico talks warmly about her legacy: “She looks over my shoulder. Even though Reinhilde is no longer there physically, she keeps rumbling in their way of thinking. Her years of work have not just been wiped away. They are not only great shoes to fill, but also a beautiful way to go. ”

But who inspires Nico and takes on an important role in his life?

Combines mini golf and art

Ilse Moors founded Fratelli a long time ago with Reinhilde Tutti. She had just left school at the time. Some time ago, Ilse said a loving goodbye to the theater company, to seek new challenges after 15 years. “But my heart is still there,” she says. During a short transition period, the trio Nico, Reinhilde and Ilse crossed paths. “It was very nice, very familiar,” Nico says. “Ilse is, of course, also one of Tutti Fratelli’s mothers.”

But Ilse did not let go of art after her departure, on the contrary: During a walk with a friend, she bumped into a mini golf area ‘to be taken over’ at Linkeroever in Antwerp. “We fell in love and started dreaming wildly,” she says. Two weeks later, they had the two keys in their hands. Meanwhile, ‘Mini Golf Beatrijs’ is a fact. It is located right next to the pedestrian tunnel on Linkeroever, and it is much more than a mini golf course. There is also culture, there are performances, and the golf courses themselves are works of art.

Read more below the picture.

An invitation to Yousra Benfquih

Human rights lawyer, poet and spoken word artist Yousra Benfquih Nico has never spoken before, and yet she inspires him. Theater and stage poetry are good neighbors. Their conversation transcends the boundaries of the radio studio: we meet Yousra on the phone at Istanbul airport on the way to a plane home. Nico studied law, but switched to theater. “If I had heard someone like Yousra talk about law, I might have continued that study,” Nico expresses his admiration. “I like talking about your plans and Tutti Fratelli over a cup of coffee,” he invites her. The author eagerly accepts the invitation.

Yousra reflects his sentiment: “If I had known what I know now, I would have chosen art in the past.” The academic path gave her a lot, but in her personal life, Yousra prefers to follow the path of poetry and literature. “It just resonates a little deeper. I also have the feeling that world is giving me more back.”

Pedro, my boundlessly greedy friend

Bridge builder Nico also invited his best friend Pedro Elias out in the studio. Nico calls the Belgian-Catalan TV host, editor and writer “boundlessly greedy”. In the podcast ‘Top Doctors: Patient Pedro’, Pedro is very honest about his hypochondria. He fears the worst of the slightest suffering. In addition to the eternal smile, the TV producer also has a vulnerable side.

Stijns camp

Actor Stijn Van OpstaI join the studio and complete the triumvirate. He knows Nico Sturm and Pedro Elias really well. Stijn is also a busy man: in addition to acting, he fights for his beloved Bourla’s right to exist. The theater in Antwerp is in danger of losing funding after a negative advance advice from the assessment committee. Stijn recently took on the role of artistic director on an interim basis.

Toneelhuis’ fate also affects Nico: “I like to see performances there. In recent years I have also been active there as an actor. Finally, it is also a very important house for Tutti Fratelli.” “The cultural sector offers comfort and nourishment, which is why it is always the ‘dick’ in history,” Pedro wonders aloud.

For two years now, Stijn has been looking for ways to put the Bourla wind in the sails. He therefore hopes that enthusiastic politicians will rise up who dare to invest fully in art. In ‘Bridgebuilders’, he pleads for the continued existence of the theater companies: “It would be so nice if there was a bigger investment.” Nico Sturm reaches out to Culture Minister Jan Jambon: “We are no strangers to each other. I know he is a culture lover. We pull together.”

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