The concept of the “postdramatic” theatre proposed by Hans-Thies Lehmann and performances within the so-called “Flemish Wave” have influenced each other. Lehmann's concept does not criticize the use of literary texts in theatrical plays but rather the concept of the “dramatic”, which stresses actions springing from a conflict between a character (subject) and a community, or between subjects. Postdramatic theatre questions the notion of an acting subject.
An extreme example of this questioning can be found in The Lobster Shop by Needcompany, one of the most important Flemish performance groups. The piece, which is aimed at building a theatrical place of the “future”, shows, according to Nicolas Truong, “the end of grand narratives and the blotting out of ideological alternatives to global capitalism”. What merely seems to be the central plot told by the performers is full of contradictions and is interrupted again and again by marginalized characters. In these interruptions, the play gives priority to the marginalized subalterns who are forgotten in “grand narratives” and exploited in the system of global capitalism.
In the last scene, a subaltern character, who appears threatening but at the same time pitiful, remains alone on stage. An excess of incomprehensible images in this character transcends the idea of a dramatic or performing subject. At this moment neither an acting subject nor any shared future has yet been performatively produced, but these are, in the words of Werner Hamacher, “afformatively” interrupted. Postdramatic theatre emphasizes the importance of this “afformative” dimension which calls a “strike” at the “factory” of performative success within a compulsive capitalism.