Company’s name: Comedia en Bruselas
Contact person: María Ángeles Rueda
How did the idea of ‘Comedia en Bruselas’ come about?
The idea came about five years ago when we moved to Brussels. In collaboration with Alex O’Dogherty, with whom Juan Antonio had already shared the stage for many years, we decided to put on a show here. The welcoming reaction that the first show had was such a success that we decided to work with other comedians. We have now reached the point where we are already negotiating with theaters with more than 300 seats.
How was the experience of entrepreneurship for you in Belgium?
It was a bit strange. We both still keep our regular jobs in the hospitality and services sector, because Comedia en Bruselas does not remunerate us enough yet to live from it. As it is, most of what we earn we invest it on Comedia en Bruselas to further its progress. We have tried to ask for subsidies or public grants but what we have eventually managed to achieve is the sponsorship of some Spanish-speaking businessmen. Thanks to them we can continue our work. Even though this entrepreneurship gives us a lot of work, and takes away hours of sleep, it also brings us enormous hope and joy.
What kind of events do you organize?
We have so far organized monologues by well-known comedians. We attempt to provide them with scenarios that respond to the specificities of their acts. Additionally, we try that the acts of our comedians offer some Spanish apetizers to the audience. Currently, we are also organizing a contest of monologues for Spanish speakers. We already have candidates waiting to take part in it.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, our plans are a bit up in the air in 2020. Nonetheless, we have in mind the projection of a documentary and start collaborating with some theater groups. Since we have already performed in Amsterdam, we are also thinking of expanding there.
Your events mainly target the Spanish-speaking community in Belgium. What would you say your shows bring to your audience, besides entertainment?
The cultural offer in Brussels is very diverse, however, few shows are in Spanish. Comedy is necessary for everyone. We give our audience the chance to experience moments full of laughter and forget about the problems of their daily lives. Since our events are held in small rooms, spectators can enjoy the proximity of the comedian and interact with her/him and the rest of the attendees.
Which artists have staged in your events? Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
The first one was Alex O’Dogherty, who has already staged three times with us. That is why we consider him our “bruseliano”. Among the important comedians we have had, it also comes to mind Miguel Lago, Santi Rodríguez, Jorge Segura, Martita de Graná, Tom Morgan, and others. We are looking forward to have more comedians of such caliber on stage. Moreover, we are already thinking ahead, and once the situation with the COVID-19 is under control, we hope to have Eva Soriano, Patricia Espejo, El Monaguillo, Ernesto Sevilla, and JJ Vaquero on stage.
Do the fact of working with comedians and artists give rise to many anecdotes. Would you share any of those anecdotes with us?
We have many and varied anecdotes because we gladly spend time with the artists. Once, we had a show with Jaime Caravaca and Martita de Graná. During the night we went out, Jaime asked some youngsters for directions to get a drink while showing them a map of Murcia, the youngsters were puzzled, as none of them realized that the map was not from Brussels.
We have to say that it is a real pleasure to meet the artists. They are aware that we are just beginning our entrepreneurial adventure and give us a lot of support. Most of the artists we have worked with act as if they knew us all along. In general, I can say that they are all lovely people and we are looking forward to their return.
What are the future plans of ‘Comedia en Bruselas’?
Comedia en Bruselas has a promising future. During the confinement, we have managed to finish balancing the dates of the events until December 2020 and we have almost all organized for 2021, although we have had already to cancel some events this year. In 2021, we will have more female presence. We cannot wait to have comedians coming over and making us laugh.
As for the facilities to perform, we will continue to work at Le Fanal, Jacqes Frank and any other theaters.
‘Comedia en Bruselas’ is part of the Chamber’s EmprendeBelux program. What are the benefits of this affiliation to your activity?
There are many benefits. From the Chamber we have even received emotional support, they always encourage us to keep going. The Chamber first helped us to set up the business by putting us in touch with the right people. They also provided all the necessary information to launch ‘Comedia en Bruselas’ in Brussels. We are always there whenever the Chamber offers conferences, talks, and meetings that could be beneficial to us. Most of the time they have an immediate response for any doubts you may have but if they do not have the answer(s) to your question(s), they will put you in touch with the person(s) who can help you. It has been a total success for us to knock on their doors.