Ramsey Nasr (1974) joined the ensemble of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in 2013 with the production Long day's journey into night (nomination Arlecchino). In season 16|17 he will play in the revivals of The other voice, Husbands and wives, Kings of war and The Fountainhead (Louis d'Or).
Nasr wrote The other voice, his answer to Cocteau’s monologue La voix humaine. Nasr: ‘It had seemed a logical question to me for years: what does that man on the other side of the line actually have to say? To my amazement, I kept hearing and reading that it must be quite a heartless guy: to leave for another woman so soon after your relationship. What a brute. But who really says that? Nobody. We don’t hear him. I thought it was unfair that his reply could not be heard and would remain invisible. I became curious about his version of the story. The other voice is the story of two people, addicted to each other, knowing they were never made for each other.’
Ramsey Nasr is a poet/author, actor and director. In 2000 he made his debut as a poet with the poetry book 27 gedichten & Geen lied, which was nominated for both the C. Buddingh’ award and the Hugues C Pernath award. One year later, he made his debut as a writer of prose, with the novel Kapitein Zeiksnor & De Twee Culturen, followed by Twee libretto’s. He then transferred to De Bezige Bij, where his second poetry book, Onhandig bloesemend, appeared in the spring of 2004. This book, too, was reprinted several times after being awarded the Hugues C. Pernath award.
Nasr was named city poet of Antwerp in 2005, and won the hearts of the Flemish at a vast speed. An issue of collected works from Nasr’s poetry appeared in 2009, under the title Tussen Lelie en waterstofbom. Anthologies of Nasr’s poetic works were translated and published in English and Georgian in 2010. Nasr comes across as a man of many passions in the many articles and opinion pieces he wrote for the Dutch and Flemish media. He writes of art – classical music, theatre, poetry – as well as commitment to current politics, both local and international. A wide selection of these articles on art and politics appeared, together with onze-lieve-vrouwe-zeppelin, under the title Van de vijand en de muzikant. In 2006, Ramsey Nasr was awarded the honorary award Journalist for Peace by the Humanist Peace Council (HVB). At the end of April 2007 Nasr, together with Tom lanoye and Bart Moeyaert, received an honorary doctorate for general merit at the University of Antwerp. The triumvirate received these honours for their work as city poets of Antwerp.
Besides his literary work, Nasr is also an actor and director. He graduated from his acting course at Studio Herman Teirlink in Antwerp in 1995, with a selfmade monologue: De doorspeler. This theatrical piece won him the Best Actor award at the Internationaal Theaterschoolfestival in Amsterdam. After his graduation, he acted with Het Zuidelijk Toneel, led by Ivo Van Hove, for five years.He said goodbye tot his company in the spring of 2000 with a newly written theatrical monologue, Geen lied. For the writing and performing of this piece he received both the Mary Dresselhuys award and the Taalunie toneelschrijfprijs in 2000. He was also nominated for the Louis d’Or. Nasr appeared in many performances for Het Zuiderlijk Toneel, such as Caligula and Romeo and Juliet, in which he played the role of Romeo. His debut as a poet coincided with hit leaving Het Zuiderlijk Toneel. On the evening of the premiere of his monologue Geen lied, his first book 27 Gedichten & Geen lied appeared. He did continue playing parts in various films. He can bes een in, among others, De man met de hond, Mariken, Liefje, Magonia, Het Echte Leven, Süskind en Goltzius & The Pelican Company. In 2002 he starred in the celebrated three/part television series De enclave, about the Dutch involvement with the drama of Srebrenica. In 2011 he once again starred in a VARA-drama series: Overspel.
On January 28 2013, Ramsey was appointed a four year position as poet laureate. With this, he followed the footsteps of Gerrit Komrij and Driek van Wissen. After a year of hidden efforts a grand scale CD project came forth at the end of October 2012, in the form of a seven-part CD box called de poëzie! which features a personal selection of Dutch poetry ranging from the Middle Ages up to the fifties (with its contemporaries). The intriguing thing about this selection of poems is that the cd only offers an audio version. Nasr resigned his position as poet laureate on Januari 31 2013 (National Poetry day). He then opts for a radically different direction, or rather, returns to his old passion: Starting May 2013, after more than 13 years, he is returning to the theatre as a regular member of the TA ensemble.