What if two prostitutes decide to close shop and trade in their windows for a job in a chocolate factory?


Annick is at the receiving end of the frustrations – and the violence – of a customer. She cannot bring that man to justice, and she cannot bring herself to meet with other men anymore. Together with a colleague who also yearns for a more conventional life, she finds a job in a chocolate factory.


But the other female employees are not exactly happy with these new coworkers. Soon, the atmosphere at the conveyor is one of conflict and jealousy. Still, unexpected bonds are formed and unknown similarities are discovered.

In cooperation with Annemarie Slotboom I interviewed both prostitutes and factory workers about topics related to femininity and sexuality, about the sexualized body and the forbidden body. These interviews were the basis for Embrasse, although I also mixed in personal recollections (the chocolate factory was the place where most of the girls from the village where I was born had their summer jobs).


Embrasse premiered in 2011 during the Over het IJ festival in Amsterdam.

directed by Leen Braspenning
produced by Productiehuis Brabant
text Annemarie Slotboom
cast Katelijne Verbeke, Karlijn Sileghem, Marie-Ange Gillis en Roos van Vlaenderen
dramaturgy Simone Hogendijk
music Bruno Op De Beek
lighting design Steven Brys

“Braspenning doesn’t like people who claim to be perfectly balanced. She doesn’t believe that is possible. Her characters are filled with conflicting emotions. The confrontation of such characters results in soothing fireworks, as is evident from Embrasse.”


Els Van Steenberghe (Knack Focus, 26 January 2011)