Skip to content

Peter Olsthoorn

Freelance journalist, does interviews and science for Intermediair; writes and speaks on topics including digitisation, data analytics, fraud and media for dailies/congresses; reviews theatre; and is daily grateful.

Scene image by Bowie Verschuuren

Sex performance HNTJong highlights insecurity

Tobogganing teenagers. If you don't have them at home, you read and hear about them in the media. The phone provides them with thousands of impressions a day, but the constant in history remained: for Generation Z, little attracts attention as much as sex. Or Sex? This language question begins the performance by HNTjong, the youth company of Het Nationale Toneel in Den... 

How can local culture reach a high level against the odds?

A major musical theatre performance, an adapted classical play, an opera and a painting festival. The small municipality of Noordwijk - like that other coastal municipality of Bergen - offers an abundance of culture. All four events rely heavily on talent, subsidies and donations, volunteers, pragmatic thrift. And good weather. Noordwijk aan Zee has been a more than average municipality for centuries. Famous Dutchmen... 

Romana Peace links ongoing slavery to her personal suffering

Respect for the many resistance fighters against slavery connects Romana Peace in 'Time will teach us' with anger at 'the system' in which exploitation continues, and with the pains in her personal life. Lokay, a teenager still, flees from the plantation on St Maarten, is caught again and physically punished by the white owner: a breast cut off, she bled almost to death in hellish... 

Photo: Fred Debrock

Hilarious debate drives and governance in HNT's Lowland

Heads fly together of practically educated old members of an association on the Weteringseplas where a driven entrepreneur comes to test floating homes, under local government siding with sustainability or the new money. On the car radio on the way to the performance, NPO Klassiek showed a Q&A with excellent biographer Sjeng Scheijen about choreographer Hans van... 

Brainwash Festival / Joy Hansson

Full houses for Catholic culture by Nick Cave and Herman Finkers

Christian cultural traditions, such as Catholicism, are in the doldrums. How do they get out? Whatever you call backgrounds in terms of gender, origin and beliefs, looking at them all positively helps, with compassion and humour; how beautiful and funny are all these different people and expressions! So I am now happy to write about two people who climbed the cultural ladder, and just... 

Hamlet Ophelia by Sanne Peper

Heady 'Hamlet and Ophelia' about Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious

I saw Sid Vicious perform with the Sex Pistols at the illustrious Eksit in Rotterdam in 1977, more than 45 years later my teenage daughter toured Vicious's story in International Toneel Amsterdam's performance Hamlet and Ophelia. She still has a life to go, I immersed myself in memories. A (too long) look back According to the annals... 

Happy Days 02 © Sanne Peper

The illusion of happiness and love with Antoinette Jelgersma and Erik Whien

"Another happy day. He listens to me ...Another very happy day, he speaks to me." Life reduced to its essence, with Winnie towering womanishly above the human molehill for her final episode. Antoinette Jelgersma, in Happy Days under Erik Whien, portrays a more monty version of Winnie, one of the toughest stage roles, with a monologue sitting still... 

Group photo The Navertellers by Jean van Lingen

The Navertellers play music until they drop dead

Just before the end of the performance, one of the musicians steps forward, whereupon a colleague tells him: he is dying soon, metastatic bladder cancer. Whereupon the victim confirms the doom himself. Who gets to sign off on this apotheosis we will leave in the middle because of the spoiler. The crazy thing is, no terrible shockwave goes through the well-filled... 

scene image by Kurt van der Elst

Pregnancy director Nina Spijkers was challenging The National Theatre on completion of Coriolanus

"That's what I'm going to tell Nina first, that afterwards the young women were the first to stand up and applaud and yell with enthusiasm for our Coriolanus." Remco van Rijn, dramaturge at The National Theatre, speaking after a try-out, just before the premiere of Coriolanus on 18 February. And Nina = Nina Spijkers, the original director of the play What... 


Nostalgia with Huub Stapel

At the end of the premiere at Haarlem's Stadsschouwburg, actor Huub Stapel (68) fills up several times as he talks about his parents. Silence falls. The performance Only Family is mainly a tribute to Stapel's parents from memories and reflections, but also personal confessions. The most prominent being his urinary problem due to a too-small bladder; many... 

Stage photo by Jan Versweyveld

My dear Gunsteling you don't want to see and must have seen

Assault and finally rape of a 14-year-old girl by a bonkers vet. An enjoyable evening at the theatre is different, until the applause of this arguably (once again) best Dutch theatre production of the year relieves you of the harsh struggle. Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and director Ivo van Hove emphasise that both 49-year-old vet Kurt and his minion, the farmer's daughter, are heavily traumatised... 

Wil van der Meer - photo by Peter Olsthoorn

The butcher in Roelofarendsveen, his unwanted gay son and Annie M.G.

Sometimes you suddenly discover a gem of culture, banished from playlists by the tough theatre market. Like Wil van der Meer with his French chanson programme of translated songs by Annie Schmidt. As an actor, singer, director and teacher, Wil van der Meer is not first rate, but equally indispensable to Dutch culture. The countless, indispensable roles... 

Scenic picture from play with Mark Rietman in the foreground

Evening of fun with relationship arguments in Family Game

Jacqueline Blom and Mark Rietman immediately arouse laughter and sadness as desperate children of divorced parents at the beginning of Family Game. However, the sharp tragicomedy gradually becomes more of a farce good for an evening of laughter. In Family Play, Jacqueline Blom, Bas Hoeflaak and Annick Boer show their best side as actors, and I enjoyed the... 

Comfort Birds

Grieving well for the loss of a loved one does not lead to Prozac or a shrink. On the contrary, a little life skill helps, as in 'Grief is the thing with feathers' by Max Porter, Jacob Derwig and Erik Whien. Once, after tragedy struck my family, I used to console myself by reading aloud the picture book Frog and the Little Bird by Max... 

Erik Whien moves on the inclusion wave, in dialogue

Director Alida Dors is pushing for inclusion at Theatre Rotterdam. What does this mean for a 44-year-old white director with great success with traditional audiences, as now with 'Sadness is the thing with feathers'? A Q&A. "Erik Whien's theatre is all about the human being. About the head and everything that happens in it. Every human being has thoughts, in the mind... 

Time flows through you; The Years of Eline Arbo at HNT as poignant as it is stunning

Squeezing village society and family, escape with harsh deflowering, student pleasures crushed by bloody abortion, inescapable marriage and childbearing, scorching relationships with men, fierce longing with loneliness, and finally resignation with grandchild; against the backdrop of war, reconstruction, stifled revolution, years of hope and finally in prosperity and cynicism extinguished idealism. Time flows through Annie, Annie flows through the... 

Jeroen Spitzenberger lets New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra shine

Jeroen Spitzenberger lets New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra shine So typically Rotterdam is this performance, just right, because of the space the lauded actor grants to a rather unknown 11-member male orchestra. For weeks, we happily watch Spitzenberger as Tim in the excellent TV series Oogappels, just as we intensely enjoyed The Year of Fortuyn at the same NPO in which he (also)... 

Little eyes and a filled heart after brilliant 39th Night of Poetry

The night of the sweet-soft child's voice of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, of course; but also the night of Joke van Leeuwen; of Maria Farantouri and Mikis Theodorakis; of 'illusory poet' Hans Klok even; and of the families of Nisrine Mbarki and Ivo de Wijs. I will try to explain the latter in a moment, in my unpoetic style, forgive me. On my... 

Night of Poetry already two-thirds borne by receipts

On 8 October 2022, ILFU will organise the Night of Poetry in Utrecht for the 39th time already. It is almost sold out which means that two-thirds of the cost is borne by visitors. "The night costs roughly 100,000 euros. If we sell out, the vast majority of the revenue already comes from tickets and about a third... 

Trapeze Annemieke van der Togt

Circus forms perfect backdrop for Kees Prins' tragicomic 'Trapeze'

Stop or keep going until you drop dead? And can you build on the other? Serious life questions that the occasional duo Peter Blok and Bas Hoeflaak will answer from a trapeze on the ridge of their circus, joking and snarking. The dry humour and mugshots of Peter Blok (experienced stage, film and TV actor) and actor-cabaret artist Bas Hoeflaak (Snipers) are... 

Stunning OustFaust tribute by and for Theu Boermans

What magnificent beauty of Dutch language from Tom Lanoye! What greatness of stage by Theu Boermans! What great acting by Romana Vrede, Mark Rietman and Myrthe Huber! Three hours of enjoyment at the very highest level that culture has to offer. And then the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague is not even sold out on a Saturday night. Did the big... 

Beautiful ode to shyness by Treurdier

Few actors can portray timidity as aptly as Jan-Paul Buijs. With his wonderful Circus Treurdier, he made a catchy performance that anyone who has something against big mouths should enjoy. Especially at chattering show tables and on Twitter, but also with the incessant smattering of columns in the Volkskrant; the big mouths of the betwetervolk exert a power you... 

Poison in theatre: when the grief of loss settles deep in your body

Giving up a loved one poisons bodies, which then repel each other. Is there consolation for pain from cruelty? About a thousand children under 20 die every year, most of them babies. And 600 people die in traffic, thankfully far fewer than before, but more since 1945 than in the Holocaust. There are no collective commemorations for it, bereaved families often suffer in... 

Stefan de Walle plays in 'Poison': 'We hope people will now appreciate extra what they had to miss all this time, just like us actors.'

From this week, try-outs of Poison, about an ex-couple who lost a child, are playing. After the premiere on 19 February in Leiden, as many as 70 performances will follow throughout the country. Actor Stefan de Walle is ready for it. The wonderful play Gif by Lot Vekemans has been performed since its premiere in 2009 at NTGent under Johan Simons in 21... 

Small Membership
175 / 12 Maanden
Especially for organisations with a turnover or grant of less than 250,000 per year.
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
5 trial newsletter subscriptions
All our podcasts
Have your say on our policies
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Posting press releases yourself
Own mastodon account on our instance
Cultural Membership
360 / Jaar
For cultural organisations
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
10 trial newsletter subscriptions
All our podcasts
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Posting press releases yourself
Own mastodon account on our instance
Private Membership
50 / Jaar
For natural persons and self-employed persons.
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
All our podcasts
Have your say on our policies
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Own mastodon account on our instance
en_GBEnglish (UK)