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still from the teaser for Stuntkont.

The best shit show in years comes from Rotterdam

Het schijnt dat er bij de inspeelvoorstellingen van Maas Theater&Dans’ nieuwste, ‘Stuntkont’, al een paar scholen geklaagd hebben. Er liepen zelfs klassen weg. Logisch misschien, tenminste voor volwassen schoolleiders die niet tegen poep-en-piesgrappen kunnen. Kinderen van 6 tot 106 kunnen er alleen maar heel hard om lachen.  Poep-en-piesgrappen blijken dus leuker dan ik zelf had verwacht. Als ze tenminste gemaakt… 

Sensitive and scintillating: Sholeh Rezazadeh's beautiful new novel is one not to forget

After her acclaimed and award-winning debut novel The sky is always purple, Sholeh Rezazadeh impresses again with her second book. I Know a Mountain Waiting for Me is a tender, delicately sensitive and sumptuous novel. Stunningly sensitive It is hard to believe that Iranian-born writer and poet Sholeh Rezazadeh (1989) has only lived in the Netherlands since 2015. Her command of language and manner of... 

Floris Kortie on Podium Klassiek's new webpage

TV Sunday night is fun again for people who don't like farming and baking. 

The old domain of VPRO, established in decades of Meticulous and Desperate Simplism, Tegenlicht and Zomer- dan Wintergasten, languished for quite a while. Viewer terror fragmented the safely elitist offerings. BNNVARA searched for a tone and didn't find it. Cultural omnivores like yours truly could no longer turn on the TV to 2 with impunity and then, after an evening of content, turn it against... 

Jonas Staal (left) during his speech. Audience members from left to right: neske Beks, Charles Landvreugd and Karin Amatmoekrim. Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Becoming a member of NSC? - Academy of Arts stage of desperate search for engagement

"The vote for Wilders may be a dissenting vote, but apparently explicit racism is not a dealbreaker for all those people. That's terrible for someone of colour." In the stately Trippenhuis, seat of the Academy of Arts, this high word from Karin Amatmoekrim sounded extra emphatic. She was responding from the stage to a late-arriving audience member, who felt that "we... 

Turbulent Greek history. 'Niki' by Christos Chomenidis is a captivating family chronicle

In his award-winning novel Niki, Greek writer Christos Chomenidis tells the turbulent story of his mother and her family. But above all, he tells the reader about 30 years of troubled Greek history.Family chronicle With the captivating family chronicle Niki, awarded the Prix du Livre Européen two years ago, Greek writer Christos Chomenidis (1966) tells two histories: that of his mother Niki and... 

Writer Javier Zamora ©Apollo Fields

Writer Javier Zamora fled motherless alone from El Salvador to the US as a child: 'Only now do I sometimes feel happy'

When he was nine, Javier Zamora (33) travelled with the help of people smugglers from El Salvador to the United States, where his parents had been living for several years. For two months, he had no contact with his family and no one knew where he was. The deep marks this journey left only healed two decades later, partly through the writing of his memoir Solito.... 

The dark backrooms of the mind. Masterfully Philippe Claudel dissects human behaviour in his new novel 'Twilight'

In his new novel Twilight, Philippe Claudel dissects man's dark motives as usual. French author Philippe Claudel does not have an overly cheerful view of man, as his compellingly told novels show. Twilight is the latest shoot on the impressive tree of his oeuvre, and fits in seamlessly. As he did in previous novels such as Grey Souls (2003), The Report of Brodeck (2007)... 

Why the Culture Council's Design Thinking is going wrong

The 'Access to Culture' advice presented by the Council for Culture on Friday 25 January 2024 is causing quite a stir. The newsletter we wrote about it on Substack was eagerly received, even though it did not ask, let alone answer, all the questions raised by the advice. Since, at 230 pages, it has also become a rather voluminous document, it... 

Writer Federico Falco

Digging in the earth to dispel grief. The Plains is a beautiful, wistful novel by Federico Falco

In The Plains by Argentine writer Federico Falco, a writer returns to life in the country after breaking up with his lover. This makes for a beautiful, wistful novel about grief, origins and the nature of life itself. 'No single word tames grief. No word dispels it. No word can truly express it.' Those thoughts... 

Utrecht Arts Education embroiled in fighting divorce

It was a chilly Thursday evening before Christmas 2023 and a grim atmosphere hung in the wedding hall of the old Utrecht city hall. Where during the day countless Utrechters were saying yes to each other, two partners were now facing each other. They no longer looked at each other, each had gathered their own supporters. Angry words rang out from one, bewildered words from the other. Members... 

Cross-border behaviour still a major problem in music industry

Industry news. The music sector needs to be safer and more inclusive. That is the industry's own conclusion after Movisie's survey of nearly 1,000 music professionals. In it, more than 50% of respondents said they had experienced cross-border behaviour during their work in the form of discrimination, aggression or sexual abuse. During Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Taskforce launches... 

Joris Linssen, photo by Jerney Hakkenberg

'I need others to flourish.' Six life insights from TV presenter Joris Linssen

In his life and work, the well-known presenter Joris Linssen (1966) experiences a lot and meets many special people. He has compiled the life insights he gained in his recently published book If you go with the flow, you will stand still. 'If you dare to choose adventure, you will be rewarded for it.' 'From taking risks, you get... 

Edition: All Photography: Cees Elzenga/hetoog.nl CE20221018

Reisopera seeks new director. And an artistic colourist.

'Nina Hiddema and the supervisory board have concluded that this is a natural time for Nina to step down.' Nice sentence in the press release that appeared in the mailbox on 15 January. De Reisopera, the Enschede-based opera company that performs operas especially for everything outside Amsterdam and Maastricht, is bidding farewell to director Nina Hiddema after two years. Whether it... 

Cinematic year 2023: the year of Barbenheimer and Sweet Dreams

Dutch cinemas and film theatres sold a total of almost 32 million cinema tickets in 2023. Not bad by far. Barbie attracted the most visitors, The Tattas was the biggest Dutch draw. The Dutch film press had already chosen Aftersun by Charlotte Wells as the best film at the end of December, while Sweet Dreams by Ena Sendijarević, also a convincing Golden Calf winner, emerged as the best Dutch title. Meanwhile, in America, the strike of screenwriters and actors gave the film industry there a tough year.

'Let's fill this town with artists', slogan on bookshop in Manchester. Photo by Wijbrand Schaap

New lesson from Manchester? 'Free the arts from colonisation by the middle class'

"There is a fear among the artistic middle class of oversimplification, as if working-class people are not smart enough for art. I find that really insulting. My great-grandfather would be offended." I found this combative quote in The Mill, an extremely successful local news site for the Greater Manchester Area, a kind of northern English Randstad with a few million inhabitants. It... 

Afterword in TR8 foyer. Flnr: Brecht de Backer, Samuel D. Hunter and Erik Whien. photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Samuel D. Hunter's Proof of God at Theatre Rotterdam: "Since I'm a father, I have to be hopeful, I can't be cynical anymore."

"In America, when you put two guys on stage, the audience expects them to beat each other up, or fuck each other. In this play, neither happens, but in the theatre it's almost always about two men fighting or fucking." Legendary words from Samuel D. Hunter. He wrote the play 'A Case for the Existence... 

The sacred must of Andrea Voets: "I really am the most difficult client of my own work"

"I never thought just playing music was enough." Andrea Voets (34) is a rising star in the arts, but cannot be pigeonholed. She has now found a form she calls musical journalism. And next year she will come out with For Real, a live concert-cum-talk show that will generate dozens of new podcasts, as many as... 

Ann Eysermans at Dropa House, photo by Dropa House

Why Antwerp is ahead of Dutch culture: Dropa House

The recording studio and residency venue of Antwerp's Sound In Motion/SIM under construction is why the Belgian cultural sector is miles ahead of that of the Netherlands in one important respect. Magic word is: residency. Do It Yourself From Antwerp, the couple Christel and Koen, both marinated in the DIY ideology of punk, have long been bombarding city and world with concerts... 

scene photo by Sanne Peper

Reinout Bussemaker is the dream JP in Aluin's 'This is ours'

You must be a white man of a certain age. Some of us are so fed up with being blamed for everything that they voted PVV or worse in the last elections out of sheer desperation. That is why it is good that playwright Erik Snel, himself a white man of a certain age, has written a play about the archetype of the Dutch... 

screenshot of committee meeting on 11 November 2013

Before we forget everything: this is how the new Chamber president thinks about culture

"In the short term, the threat comes from black-racial activists and their leftist slaves. A very small group of activists with an obsession with skin colour have opened the frontal attack on the symbols of Western culture. They claim to speak for all of black Holland. This must eventually end in reparations because of slavery and job quotas against whites, like in South Africa.... 

In Brabant, arts subsidies are already going under

In North Brabant, the annual provincial subsidy for professional art will go down by €629,000 a year from 2025. Whereas prestigious, and very vital, organisations such as Boulevard, Bosch parade and Matzer could count on an amount of 8.25 million until now, from the new culture plan period it will be only 7.6 million. The Brabant cultural institutions, united in The Art of... 

pr image The Christmas Dinner by Wilmink Theatre

In Enschede, I realised again how important own actors are for a city theatre

It is one of my worst guilty pleasures. Egg salad from the better-filled mayonnaise manufacturer from Twente, with a close second to their tuna salad. I can't get enough of those. And now let them have both of those on the table at Het Kerstdiner in Theater Kleine Willem in Enschede. Chic is different, but in the... 

cover I Say Sorry Anyway

'I say sorry' is now a book. Go read it, together. 

"Listening, not always understanding, but trying to go along with (the black) voices ensured that, in my opinion, there was a beautiful text at the heart of the performance Ik zeg toch sorry." If a short preface to a play has as much meaning as this quote by Raymi Sambo, the text itself must offer much more.... 

Roy Kemmers by Michelle Muus

Sociologist Roy Kemmers: 'It is not the cultural institutions that should be protected, but the values they stand for.'

"The unease of the voters who gave Wilders 37 seats is not solved by the position of power the PVV has now achieved." Roy Kemmers (43) is an associate professor at the sociology faculty of Erasmus University in Rotterdam. On Tuesday 28 November, he wrote an opinion piece in De Volkskrant, commenting on the rise of populism. He obtained his PhD... 

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