Skip to content


Stories with a fixed price tag. To see these stories, you must be logged in as a subscriber, or pay via Blendle.

Beatles tour bus (replica) Photo: Chris Samson CC.BY 2.0

You had one chance to sustainably improve arts subsidies

The decision will be official in mid-September, but behind the scenes it has already been made. The Netherlands will have a very small basic cultural infrastructure for the performing arts, and a very large fund that anyone who wants to make theatre, dance, mime or music must apply to. I asked around a bit recently, and so that's what it's going to be. That way, politicians can't... 

Chablis, riesling, bardolino and five indies: Boulevard succeeded

Wine tasting and listening to medieval music are usually things people only do with very serious faces. So it took five glasses, three drunken singers and a good hour before the mob in the sober Heilig Hart church in Den Bosch loosened up a bit. With a Frontignan to boot. You do start fantasising about the amazing dinner you had at... 

8 phenomena together on stage do not make phenomenal theatre at Theatre Festival Boulevard

Claron McFadden is a phenomenon. Josse de Pauw is a phenomenon. Arnon Grunberg is a phenomenon. LOD is a phenomenon. KVS is a phenomenon. Theatre Festival Boulevard is a phenomenon. I did not yet know pianist Kris Defoort, but he is also a phenomenon. As is Henry Purcell, but we've known that for a couple of centuries: also a phenomenon. After such an opening paragraph... 

Wunderbaum provokes revulsion with sacred performance about North Sea cruise at Theatre Festival Boulevard

Anyone who is young, a little nicely educated and otherwise generally of good character does not go on a North Sea cruise. A cruise on the North Sea, that's what you do if you have no imagination, have bad legs or are too sick for anything else. Believes Wunderbaum. The theatre collective that likes to take care of the vulnerable of this planet is... 

The Apocalypse is something to look forward to at Theatre Festival Boulevard

The most beautiful end of the world is in Lars von Trier's Melancholia. Floating poplars, a woolly planet eating us in a wave of atmospheric mist. I'd sign up for it. Anything better than the sloshing slabs of earth full of screaming puppets in the failed 2012 disaster film. Then again, not as much fun as the end of times in The Hitchhikers Guide... 

Boukje Schweigman makes you feel how weird time is at Theatre Festival Boulevard.

Industrial estates are weird. They lie souring on the outskirts of one city, only to seamlessly morph into the same site on the outskirts of another. Once they were A-locations, places of visibility and the incarnate dream of reconstruction. Now they are low-grade structures, halls with a front door, a visible office for the Dirk and a pathetic... 

Humour, marinated in tears on a bed of melancholy. Perfect day on Boulevard

The prize for the longest and most artful kiss of 2017 has been given away and goes to Conny Janssen Danst. In a small tent on the square below Bossche Sint-Jan, this danced kiss forms the technical and dramatic highlight of Clarity. Two dancers, spinning pirouettes while keeping their lips connected, a video artist and the floating music performed live by iET were on Saturday ... 

Thinking won't make you a hero. Artful Flemish musical theatre on Boulevard

Heroes are not always the smartest people. Indeed, most acts that have gone down in history as heroes have been thoughtless actions. That happened to succeed. Pure luck. Against every heroic act, therefore, there is an unknown but not negligible number of senseless deaths of would-be heroes. The main character of the theatre play The Heroes, which I attended in Den Bosch on 4 August,... 

Celebrate art in times of gloom. #tfboulevard

Opening speeches. Every festival has one. Or two. You have to go through them. As a guest, but also as a host. Something should be found on it. Of course a point has to be made, a flag raised, a champagne bottle bang introduced. And also the sponsors should be thanked. In these times of a retreating government, there are more of them every year. And. 

No man can escape Nottrots Thundering Time. (Theatre with built-in escaperoom)

'Can I ask you: do you know what time is?' Greg Nottrot's question cannot be straightforward, as I am the only spectator. MIjn spot is uncomfortable: a chair sinking into fresh gravel on the curious Utrecht plain christened 'Berlinplein' by city developers. I witness an early rehearsal of De Denderende Tijd. In that... 

Even less income for writers. (What you don't know about the austerity-minded library)

That libraries are doing badly was already known. But in the news about this, made public on 27 July by RTL, there is still something hidden that the editors themselves leave underexposed. Because who is paying the real price in the austerity operation? Indeed, the writers. The libraries settle that with a simple trick. They cancel the rent from their own... 

So you'll never leave Den Bosch again (why holidays in your own country can be fun)

Would like your interpretation of the cover girl's look on the Theatre Festival Boulevard programme book. It may be projection, but I see a slightly overwhelmed desperation in those eyes, whose eyebrows have been replaced by two playfully placed arches of St John's, above: Den Bosch on my mind. Where to start, mostly. In the book, especially abundance. Glassily designed... 

The new theatre system is just about finished. Only seven 'dilemmas' remain.

[This post was already online under the title 'Save us from the Transition Office', but has been updated in a few details] While you are preparing for a well-deserved holiday, people in the arts sector are working on a new model. That new model is needed because the old model is no longer adequate. That old model, and we are of course talking about our... 

Just a Guest is justified summer hit: listening always makes people interesting

I held my heart. Patrick Nederkoorn and Oscar Kocken had been tempted by television to bring their brilliant gem 'Zomaargasten' over to the living room. NPO3 still. The channel targeting millennials. I had visions of channel managers, dramaturgs, audience specialists and gussied-up boys and girls well over forty that these two little artists would... 

It has been investigated: culture sector almost succumbs to work pressure (Solution: go cycling in the library)

'I would love to have a human resources manager on staff, but yes, quite a shame.' Dixit the director of a medium-sized arts institution. As in the rest of the Dutch SME sector, in the arts sector personnel policy, or HR policy, is something that is at most done on the side. Anyone who has ever got it wrong can tell great stories about... 

Especially for our subscribers: the great Holland Festival 2017 e-book

The advantage of being a subscriber to Culture Press is, of course, mainly that we can exist thanks to you. So our independent sound remains audible, so you get the interpretation of the news as you get it nowhere else. In June, a total of 14 authors hit the road for you to see as many Holland Festival performances as possible.... 

Why it is beyond stupid of the NPO to move Radio Kunststof

Radio Kunststof is one of the most successful early-evening programmes on our national disaster channel Radio 1. That success is partly due to its great formula: a long conversation with a more or less well-known figure from the arts and media corner. However, much more important reason for that success is the broadcast time. Between seven and eight in the evening, very... 

I had a perfect near-death experience in the Amsterdam theatre #HF17

Sometimes you don't need a lot of words for a great story. Often, few words also require more effort than many words. That idea Blaise Pascal once managed to coin. Yesterday, on the penultimate day of the seventieth Holland Festival, the statement was reinforced in another, unexpected way. Australia's Back to Back Theatre told the story of... 

Why it's good that the Holland Festival gets this general manager #HF17

Annet Lekkerkerker is one of the few women in the cultural sector for whom the glass ceiling is no longer an obstacle. That she is now, after several years as 'business director', formally becoming top woman of the country's most important performing arts festival is wonderful for more reasons. She is not only the first woman at that high position. Her appointment also makes clear why... 

American kindergarten drama with a body count of 2 million on #HF17

Chances are not inconceivable that you have never heard of Fortunato Depero. Or maybe you are a lover of classic design and still have an old mini bottle of Campari somewhere. He made that. As a playwright, you might well have overlooked him. On 21 June, I went to see if you could find yourself with that... 

Alain Platel sets all of Carré on edge with overwhelming Nicht Schlafen #HF17

The plofnies came totally unexpectedly. The family father behind me, out with wife and presumably reluctant adolescent son, burst out after about 10 minutes into the performance. Just when a deafening silence had descended over the sold-out Theatre Carré. At least four people, including myself, were shocked to the core. A sneeze had never been this loud before, but as quiet as during... 

Art that is not about anything. Greek spectacle The Great Tamer was a delight on #HF17

During the first two weeks of this Holland Festival, almost all art was about something. The festival theme of 'democracy', conceived for the occasion, appears to have penetrated just about every hairline. Sometimes painful and highly topical, as in the National Theatre's phenomenal 'The Nation', sometimes downright embarrassing, as in Romeo's heavily overrated 'Democracy in America'... 

Robert Lepage pulls out all the stops in '887'. (Because we forget so much.) #HF17

Twenty-five Canadians are listed for design and production of sound, video, music, lighting and stage technology. Nine Canadians are working behind the scenes for two hours. During those two hours, one Canadian is on stage. In front of six hundred spectators. What those 35 people have all managed to pull off tickles your imagination and tells... 

Dries Verhoeven's Phobiarama is a pointless machine #HF17

I went to Amsterdam to face my social anxieties on the once infamous Mercatorplein. I saw a sunny square with a trendy bar and bakfiets mothers around a play fountain for white children (brrrr! gentrification), old veiled and un veiled women chatting on a bench (help! multiculture) and a performance in a converted bumper car tent (Waaaah! Holland Festival). What I didn't... 

This is what devastation looks like: The Gabriels is the perfect mirror for stumpers like us. #HF17

Endless chatting at the kitchen table. While cooking. That's all they do, the brother, the sister, the ex, the two daughters-in-law and the mother of the Gabriel family. About recipes, about the old piano. About Thomas, the brother who died of parkinson's, about his wife, who due to informal care had no time to renew her doctor's degree. All very casually, without... 

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)