Skip to content

Culture Press podcastcorona (21) - Oscar Kocken: 'Not being allowed to perform your work for six months is pretty gross.'

'Yes, of course it was something we already saw coming in every way. That made me mentally prepared. But then when you actually hear it... It's just SO sour. It's every time - I don't blame anyone, to be clear - but every time you get bad news, you try to recover, reset, make new plans. Then you go and do something else and another blow comes. You have to go through that same process again. That eats up energy.'

Oscar Kocken, independent theatre-maker, talk show host and creator, has had it for a while. We are speaking the day after it was officially announced that all summer festivals have been cancelled until 1 September 2020. And that was precisely where he had placed another glimmer of hope. As soon as the first 'intelligent lockdown' was declared, he threw himself into Twitter, where he set up his first Twitter talk show. A fun experience, he thought at the time, but nothing more.

War diary

He still had a financial cushion, 'though I hadn't counted on a global pandemic making all my work impossible, Mr Wiebes!' Since he had all the time anyway, he threw himself into a project for summer festivals. For some time there had been a plan to do something with his grandfather's war diary. After the liberation of Limburg in March 1945, he joined the Red Cross to help repatriate prisoners and wounded. He discovered that another exciting request had been added: the request to return a little Bible that a badly wounded soldier had given to grandpa, with the wish to give it to his family.

Oscar's search attracted a lot of attention online, including from the national media, and also eventually produced a surprising outcome: the soldier had survived the war and was married. Oscar's grandfather had always almost tracked him down, but had not found him. The soldier died in 2010 and Oscar is now making it a project to return the bible to his widow as soon as corona allows. It was all supposed to lead to an intimate performance at the Bossche theatre festival Boulevard. Which will now, therefore, not go ahead.

Good to know Good to know

The full version of this story appears on the Corona website of the municipality of Utrecht.

Appreciate this article!

Happy with this story? Show your appreciation with a small contribution! That's how you help keep independent cultural journalism alive. (If you don't see a button below, use this link: donation!)

Donate smoothly

Why donate?

We are convinced that good investigative journalism and expert background information are essential for a healthy cultural sector. There is not always space and time for that. Culture Press does want to provide that space and time, and keep it accessible to everyone for FREE! Whether you are rich, or poor. Thanks to donations From readers like you, we can continue to exist. This is how Culture Press has existed since 2009!

You can also become a member, then turn your one-off donation into lasting support!

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

Private Membership (month)
5 / Maand
For natural persons and self-employed persons.
No annoying banners
A special newsletter
Own mastodon account
Access to our archives
Small Membership (month)
18 / Maand
For cultural institutions with a turnover/subsidy of less than €250,000 per year
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
All our podcasts
Your own Mastodon account
Access to archives
Posting press releases yourself
Extra attention in news coverage
Large Membership (month)
36 / Maand
For cultural institutions with a turnover/subsidy of more than €250,000 per year.
No annoying banners
A special newsletter
Your own Mastodon account
Access to archives
Share press releases with our audience
Extra attention in news coverage
Premium Newsletter (substack)
5 trial subscriptions
All our podcasts

Payments are made via iDeal, Paypal, Credit Card, Bancontact or Direct Debit. If you prefer to pay manually, based on an invoice in advance, we charge a 10€ administration fee

*Only for annual membership or after 12 monthly payments

en_GBEnglish (UK)