Benny Claessens, born 1981 in Antwerp (Belgium), is an actor and director. He studied at the Studio Herman Teirlinck in Antwerp and performed at the Toneelhuis Antwerpen from 2003 to 2006, while Luk Perceval was its artistic director. For his performance in Ritter, Dene, Voss, Claessens was presented with the Arlecchino in Amsterdam as 2009's best actor of the season. In addition to various works in Belgium and Berlin, from 2010-2015 Claessens was a member of the ensemble at the Münchner Kammerspiele, while Johan Simons was artistic director. In 2013 he created the production Spectacular Lightshows Of Which U Don’t See The Effect (Münchner Kammerspiele), in which he also appeared as a performer, and with Jan Decorte he created Much Dance in 2015 (Münchner Kammerspiele). In the same year his performance Hello Useless was created for Campo and in 2016 Learning How to Walk debuted at NTGent; both productions could be seen around Europe. At the 2018 Theatertreffen festival at the Berliner Festspiele, Benny Claessens was awarded with the Alfred-Kerr-Darstellerpreis for his performance in Am Königsweg by Elfriede Jelinek (directed by Falk Richter). The same performance also garnered him the distinction of actor of the year in the poll of theatre critics conducted by the journal Theater heute. In the same year, he staged The Last Goodbye at the HAU Berlin. At the Gorki he performed in Ersan Mondtag's ÖDIPUS UND ANTIGONE, SALOME and IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE, among others.
Photo: Esra Rotthoff