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The National Theatre

Podcast: Sometimes it's also just allowed to be about love, in The Hague. Although: in spectacle Ondine, nothing is ordinary.

'You simply cannot, as a big company, just bring journalistic theatre.' So says Jeroen de Man, who now directs the watery spectacle performance Ondine at the National Theatre. 'A bit of diversity is just fine.' So not everything in The Hague has to be as socially relevant as The Nation of Othello. Sometimes it can also just be about the... 

Really Happened is No Excuse, or: How playwright Sadettin Kırmızıyüz gets passed left and right by De Luizenmoeder

I attended the try-out of Metropolis #1 at The Hague's Theater aan het Spui and a week later - because I couldn't believe my eyes the first time - I also went to the premiere. Rarely did I see something so blood-curdlingly exciting on stage. But unfortunately for the wrong reasons. A lot of a-musical notions Metropolis is the... 

Sadettin Kırmızıyüz creates theatre series 'Metropolis'. 'If you think, this can't be true, assume: this is true.'

It all starts at Orange College, of course. A fictional school with very real problems. For Sadettin Kırmızıyüz, the place where he commissions the opening part of Metropolis, a series that should eventually count four episodes. It is one of Het Nationale Theater's biggest projects over the next four years, in close cooperation with Kırmızıyüz's own company:... 

Maria Kraakman: "You have Couperus before and after Bas Heijne"

In recent years, the artistic director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Ivo van Hove, made three performances of works by Couperus. In three short interviews, I look back at the last part, Little Souls. Despite the long meandering sentences and the romantic, sometimes very passive characters, this book (or actually it's four books)is a timeless masterpiece that, as far as I'm concerned, all... 

Sadettin Kırmızıyüz. Photo: Joost de Haast

Dutch version of The Wire moves from Rotterdam to The Hague

Nationale Toneel Theatre is working on its mission to bring society to the stage. The Nation, that insane marathon with Romana Vrede about a disappearance in the Schilderswijk neighbourhood, and Mark Rietman, will be ready this autumn. Anyone who thought it was time for another slice of tedious retro hag comedy after that is wrong. We do have a classic coming up in... 

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'... 

Go see how Romana Peace takes The Nation to the highest level. #HF17

At last. The Nation, the hyperactual theatrical serial with which the revamped Nationale Toneel, sorry Theatre, presents itself to the country, feels like a refreshing splash of water on a soggy day. Newly appointed boss Eric de Vroedt lives up to his reputation by delivering a work that will no doubt draw new audiences into the theatres. An audience spoiled by... 

Joris Smit in Tasso, photo Kurt van der Elst

Joris Smit on Tasso and Joan of Arc: no theatre that puts the audience to bed

The National Theatre plays Jeanne d'Arc by Friedrich Schiller and simultaneously retakes Johann Goethe's Tasso. Joris Smit plays in both plays, even the title role in Tasso. We talk to him about German romantics, Sallie Harmsen, the new-fangled National Theatre and the importance of going down on your face. Tasso and Jeanne, Goethe and Schiller. Is German romance... 

Uitdehaags little foxes lack humanity

Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes is not a rewarding play to direct or perform. For that, the image of man that the American (1905-1984) portrays is simply too morbid. The Nationale Toneel, directed by Antoine Uitdehaag, unfortunately fails to add sufficient psychological layering to it. In The Little Foxes, successfully filmed in 1941 with Bette Davis in... 

Stefan de Walle and Joris Smit (Kurt van der Elst photo)

The reviewer, for anyone whose flesh is occasionally weak

Anyone who wants to credibly transfer a historical play to the present had better be radical, director Theu Boermans must have thought. And anyone who sees his adaptation of Nikolaj Gogol's The Revisor at the Nationale Toneel cannot help but agree with him. With references to asylum seekers, cubicle snoopers, data espionage and subsidy fraud, the play seems written yesterday. Yet Boermans remains... 

Firma Mes - BOT (photo by Joris Jan Bos)

BOT by Firma MES: delightful theatre for laughers and thinkers

'KUT TONEEL' has been spray-painted over BOT's poster. Another features penises and a clown's nose. Does Firma MES' new show arouse so much aggression? In any case, the young theatre company from The Hague promises us a play about "unkind people". But that doesn't quite pan out. On the flat floor of Theater aan... 

Theatre sector: "Municipalities, stop building theatres!"

Always nice when someone sets up a committee to solve all the problems. The Dutch theatre sector did just that a few months ago. Led by former minister Guusje Ter Horst, Rinda den Besten (former Utrecht alderman), Sadik Harchaoui (Forum) and Ryclef Rienstra (VandenEnde Foundation) examined what could be better in the relationship between theatre and the... 

Inequality and exploitation: from Genesis to today

At the Gala van het Nederlands Theater, she won the Colombina 2015 for best female contributing role, in Genesis. From this week, Antoinette Jelgersma, actress with the Nationale Toneel, plays in Ronald Schimmelpfennig's The Golden Dragon. From biblical history to life anno now - but there are more similarities than you might think. Jelgersma sits relaxed 

Modern. Medieval. Mariken

OPERA2DAY presents the world premiere of Mariken in de tuin der lusten at the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague on 11 October. An opera with the collaboration of an impressive list of artists, including composer Calliope Tsoupaki, Asko|Schönberg and actress Hannah Hoekstra as Mariken. But will you achieve success with an opera, with modern-classical music moreover and Middle Dutch text? Director and creator Serge van Veggel... 

The six shows you must see in October

Opera2Day, Mariken in de tuin der lusten (opera) The young The Hague company Opera2Day produces one splendid performance after another. But at the same time it does not rest on all its laurels, opting for adventure by presenting an entirely new opera together with the Nationale Toneel. At the centre is Mariken van Nieumeghen, the girl "who lived with the devil for seven years", the music is by Calliope Tsoupaki and... 

Advertising column Three Sisters

Chekhov's helpless, poetic creatures - three actresses on Three Sisters

Three Sisters by Chekhov directed by Theu Boermans is back with the Nationale Toneel. Two and a half years after its original performance, the play will play nine times exclusively at the Royal Theatre in The Hague. There is news about all three "sisters". Anniek Pheifer (Masja), Ariane Schluter (Olga) and Sallie Harmsen (Irina) talk about their careers and about Chekhov.... 

Solness - the National Theatre - Mark Rietman, Anna Raadsveld - photo Kurt Van der Elst

Ibsen in a bubble - Boermans' poignantly austere Solness

A girl stands waving and around her a rain of soap bubbles descends, so many that it almost seems as if the girl is taking off. She stands swaying and her ecstasy and tears of joy slowly turn to deep despair and disbelief. What she sees cannot, cannot be true, because it destroys everything she is - to what she... 

The great stories of Genesis: Johan Doesburg's farewell at the National Theatre

Adam and Eve. Noah. Babel. Joseph. An entire book of the Bible Johan Doesburg casts in his farewell performance with the Nationale Toneel. 'Genesis' lasts 6 hours including intermissions, has 65 speaking characters and plays with the space of Scheveningen's Zuiderstrandtheater. But above all, the outgoing director wants it to tell two stories. In conversation with Johan Doesburg and actor Dries Vanhegen, whose character Jacob plays a special role in the play.

The five shows you must see in March

Toneelgroep Oostpool, Angels in America (stage), playlist
To call the epic about America in the AIDS era a modern classic is an understatement. Since 1993, the play has been performed all over the world with great success. HBO turned it into a disappointing miniseries, Péter Eötvös a completely unsuccessful opera. Toneelgroep Amsterdam recently celebrated triumphs as far away as New York with a five-hour version stripped to the bone, partly prompting 'Meppel-gate'. Director Marcus Azz...

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At last: National Theatre examines 'German Model'

Good going, over there in The Hague. After the company announced earlier this week that it would take a young creator into its artistic leadership before his death, today follows the announcement that Het Nationale Toneel wants to merge with the Koninklijke Schouwburg. This would mean that, for the first time in a long time in the Netherlands, the performer of a city theatre would again be... 

The Hague takes the lead in rejuvenating theatre landscape: De Vroedt not going to Rotterdam

Eric de Vroedt will succeed Theu Boermans at the Nationale Toneel in The Hague in 2018. The company announced this in a press release today. This puts an end to speculation surrounding the future of theatre-maker De Vroedt. Indeed, he had long been mentioned as Alize Zandwijk's successor at the ro Theater in Rotterdam,... 

Stefan de Walle and Ariane Schluter in Friday, photo Kurt van der Elst

Living on with indigestible guilt to each other's ruined existence: National Theatre plays Hugo Claus' Friday

Georges Vermeersch comes home early from prison, where he was serving a sentence for incest with his daughter Christiane. In the meantime, his wife Jeanne has had a child by younger neighbour Erik. So how to move on? Casper Vandeputte directed an intense, haunting version of Hugo Claus' play Friday at the Nationale Toneel. Lead actors Stefan de... 

Sallie Harmsen and Joris Smit in Tasso (photo Kurt van der Elst)

Drama about art: to do or not to do? Ivo van Hove and Sallie Harmsen think so.

The National Theatre will premiere Blueprint for an Even Better Life on 8 November 2014, which addresses, among other things, the position of artists in society. A theme that also featured in their recent Tasso, and in Toneelgroep Amsterdam's successful The Fountainhead. Is the subject of art back on the theatre agenda due to the changed cultural politics of the past... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (5) "All balls on Amsterdam", I'm not into that at all.

Wijbrand Schaap: 'Now on the role of cities. One of the reactions on our site is about the role of the randstad in cultural policy. Melle Daamen puts the primacy in the randstad, and goes further than the Council in this.' Marathon interviewAfter the uproar surrounding Melle Daamen's opinion piece on arts policy, we were invited to a 'conversation about... 

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