“Almost forgotten booklet beautifully edited.”

de Volkskrant

Winner Zilveren Krekel for “most impressive stage performance”

joe no, bess yes (6+)

Visual family performance based on the book by Joke van Leeuwen

These performances are in Dutch

Joe wants to be with Bess.
Bess wants to be with Joe.
But things go wrong.
Joe gets cross with Bess.
And Bess gets cross with Joe.
I try to be nice, says Bess.
So do I, says Joe.
But things go wrong.

joe no, bess yes is about love and how sometimes you like each other and sometimes you don’t. Even grownups find it complicated at times. Being together means understanding each other, but that’s not always as easy as it seems. A small problem can sometimes get completely out of hand. You find yourself tongue-tied, at a loss for words, or simple too judgmental. But suddenly you can laugh about it together and things are back to normal. You need very few words to make that clear.

joe no, bess yes is inspirited by the book of the same name by Joke van Leeuwen for beginning readers age 6 and up. The book won a Zilveren Griffel in 1993. This theatre performance draws on the same words you learn as you start to read.

A visual family show for beginning and advanced readers and young and old theatre-goers alike. Lieke Benders from Hoge Fronten and Inge Liefsoens from tmg LAP have worked together before with great success. They share a love of visual theatre for young and old.

Agenda joe no, bess yes (6+)

December 2019

Januari 2020

Februari 2020

Maart 2020

April 2020

Mei 2020

The artists of joe no, bess yes (6+)


Lieke Benders
concept and direction

Hoge Fronten - Niet Wiet, Wel Nel © Saris& den Engelsman

Inge Liefsoens

Hoge Fronten - Niet Wiet, Wel Nel © Saris& den Engelsman

Hans van Cauwenberghe

Hoge Fronten - Niet Wiet, Wel Nel © Saris& den Engelsman

Eva Zwart

Hoge Fronten - Niet Wiet, Wel Nel © Saris& den Engelsman

Gerrit Dragt


Marq Claessens


Jorine van Beek


Udo Thijssen


Roland de Jong
lighting design


Gertie Poels
project coordination

joe no, bess yes (6+) is a free adaptation to the book ‘niet wiet, wel nel’ by Joke van Leeuwen © 1992 Uitgeverij Zwijsen B.V., Tilburg


This performance has been made possible in part by Fonds Podiumkunsten, Provincie Limburg (NL), Gemeente Maastricht, VSB Fonds, Stichting Elisabeth Strouven, Provincie Limburg (BE), Gemeente Hasselt, Stroom, Theater aan het Vrijthof.