het Theater Festival

“Dagboek van een leeg bed (Diary of an empty bed) is an intimate, poetic narrative in word, image and sound that is both personal and universal.”


“Dagboek van een leeg bed (Diary of an empty bed) has enough of that subtle poetry to move you. ‘He searches among the rubble of history for something that glows’, says Rasem half-way through. ‘He’ is the fear that beleaguers Iraq, but it could just as well be the theatre-maker himself. With this play he delivers an intimate gem for a violence-filled world.”

De Standaard

Dagboek van een leeg bed

Mokhallad Rasem / Toneelhuis

The starting point is the story of my own life, shich began in Baghdad and brought me to Belgium. But I’m not doing a documentary about my life and I don’t comment on political situations. I’m making a journey through the metaphors of the Arabic language, which is my mother tongue.” – Mokhallad Rasem

For twenty years, Mokhallad Rasem has built up a collection of personal notes on a daily basis, jotting down images that appear to him in his dreams, memories that rise to the surface and impressions that strike his fancy from the world around him. Now between an empty bed and a box full of memories, Mokhallad Rasem first expresses deep thoughts and intense emotions, then comes up with tranquil observations and surprising fantasies. And all of this in Arabic, his native language, for the first time.

Dagboek van een leeg bed (Diary of an Empty Bed) is a poetic invitation to think about the passage of time, about distanceand intimacy, about having to say farewell and start all over again.

concept, play & text Mokhallad Rasem | dramaturgy Erwin Jans | scenography Mokhallad Rasem | production Toneelhuis | production manager Tom Van Aken | video Paul Van Caudenberg | technique Dominick Geentjes | translation & surtitling Marthe Nelissen | set decoratelier Toneelhuis (Jan Palinckx, Karl Schneider, Patrick Jacobs, Senne Suls & Niels Antonissen) | costume kostuumatelier Toneelhuis (Cindy Dierckx, Monique van Hassel & Kathleen Van Mechelen) | thanks to technique Bourla & Erik Borgman
€18 (basic price) / €16 (65+) / €14 (-26/pro) / €10 (-18)
duration: 60 min.
language: Spoken in Arabic, surtitled in NL, FR & EN


Mokhallad Rasem (°1981) is an actor and director who was born and trained in Bagdad. The war in Iraq changed the course of his life, and since 2005 he has been living and working in Belgium. He made a name for himself with the dazzling and physical Irakese geesten, which was constructed in an associative and fragmentary manner. He joined the team of Toneelhuis theatre-makers on 1 January 2013. Whereas at first he mostly concentrated on classical European repertory, over the course of time he has taken a more documentary approach. Projects like Body Revolution and Zielzoekers show an exceptional sensitivity for what being uprooted does to a person. Gripping, universal, and stubbornly hopeful.