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Ruth Mackenzie's latest Holland Festival promises to be just one of the most exciting

Here it is. The one and only interactive Culture Press Holland Festival Special. A special that has already been deployed over the past few months, and will be added to in the coming month. During the festival, we have regular reviews and reports, and podcasts. A new edition of this Special appears every week. On Monday. And then you can also subscribe via e-mail to the daily update, or weekly newsletter. Where do we do it all from?

First, let's take a look at the near future. Culture Press sent - in cooperation with the Holland Festival - reporters to all corners of Europe: Paris, Birmingham, Nantes, Berlin, Hamburg, London and Antwerp. There they went to see performances chosen by the Holland Festival to be part of this month's sampling of top performing arts, which the festival continues to be. Those stories sometimes already appeared online here, and sometimes they are still to come. What we have we now bring together here.

France is diverse

What's the picture? Fascinating comedy from Germany. I myself went to watch and laughed a lot at a wacky adaptation of the thick pill Anna Karenina. Something else new is France establishing itself as a purveyor of truly diverse performing arts. Fransien van der Putt saw Kata, a performance that brings depth to the hip-hop and martial arts tradition of the banlieue.

I myself saw a show about pouty and committed supporters of Racing Club de Lens. Fascinating community theatre, to say the least. For me, already the highlight is Saigon, the play I went to see in Berlin. A heartbreaking portrait of Vietnamese in exile. According to many others, also the expected highlight of the festival. In Avignon, they broke down the tent as well.


Henri Drost had a bizarre experience in Birmingham with a piece that brings together reality and manipulation with classical music, while Wenneke Savenije went to London to watch the new grand opera which was produced there.

From our own country, we have reports on Gesualdo of The Warm Shop by Thea Derks and an interview by Maarten Baanders with Arno Schuitemaker, a choreographer inspired by architecture. Technical highlight will be anyway the spectacle JR, that I see in an Antwerp power plant thing. Four floors of financial drudgery, and then still get something to go with it. Go figure.

Haute cuisine and fries

Of course, with all these stories, we haven't quite done the festival yet. Hence, still those reviews and additional reports. What does stand out from all the stories so far is the approachability of much of what is on offer. Sure, there's art for foodies, but those who don't feel like truffle foam and nitrogen preparation just yet can thus just go get fries with mustard on stage at Stadium, or inhale the smell of coriander at Saigon. For those in between, nostalgia pot at Anna Karenina.

Ruth Mackenzie has been working hard over the past few festivals To a more open and approachable image. Pretty difficult for a festival with so little budget, compared to its peers abroad. The programmers, Annemieke Keurentjes and Jochem Valkenburg, can't pack everything they want with the small budget, but the emphases are clear. Chapeau, duys. Upfront already. It can only get better.

The special

Below are all the stories in order of the festival programme. If you don't want to miss anything from our further updates and reviews, subscribe to our daily or weekly newsletter. Or both.

Oh: and how we get all this done? Our members do. For 50 euros a year you can join.

At the Holland Festival, Mackenzie is opening the doors to a new avant-garde among the audience.

8 and 9 June, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam: Anna Karenina.

German Anna Karenina in @hollandfestival as seventies disco show: 'We were sometimes worried whether we were going too far. But then we always had the music.'

9 June, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam: Kata

Touching each other is taboo. Anne Nguyen brings breakdance and capoeira, vulnerable men and video games in Kata @hollandfestival

13 and 14 June, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam: Saigon

'Saigon' director (@hollandfestival) seeks extreme emotions: 'I don't want any more distance between the story and the audience.'

13 and 14 June: Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam: The String Quartet's Guide to Sex and Anxiety

A tense conversation about anxiety and sex early Sunday morning: The String Quartet's Guide to Sex and Anxiety @HollandFestival

16 and 17 June, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam: Stadium

'Stadium' at @hollandfestival: Meet the hardcore supporter core of Racing Club de Lens. But then for real.

16 to 18 June, Central Market Hall, Food Center Amsterdam: JR

Stef Aerts directs 3D show JR at @hollandfestival: 'To go from 700 pages of real literature to a manageable stage text doesn't just happen.'

21 to 25 June, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam: Gesualdo.

Gesualdo project at @hollandfestival by De Warme Winkel: 'We want to anoint and flog the ears' #HF18

25 June to 5 July, National Opera and Ballet: Lessons in Love and Violence.

Martin Crimp on Lessons in Love and Violence at the @hollandfestival: 'The past is a playground, in which I can escape from the rolling news.'


Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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