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International Theatre Amsterdam makes report on sickened working climate public 

"Regarding the victims, it was mainly employees with managerial duties who experienced the cross-border behaviour. This seemingly contradictory result with the discussed hierarchy is explicable from the fact that the perpetrator of the transgressive behaviour in the majority of these cases is (a) board member(s) or other manager(s)." Ivo van Hove suddenly left as director last year 

Holland Festival 2024 concluded with successful 24-hour The Second Woman 

The 77th edition of the Holland Festival closed on 29 June with a minute-long standing ovation for Georgina Verbaan who showed a phenomenal acting performance in the The Second Woman, a performance by Anna Breckon and Nat Randall, in which she played the same break-up scene for a full 24 hours with a hundred most non-professional counterparts. The day before, Victor Pilon closed... 


Festivals full of theatre, dance and music from the comfort of your own living room

ITA, HOLLAND FESTIVAL AND NDT PRESENT BIBERATING PROGRAMS ONLINE, IN DIGITAL THEATER International Theatre Amsterdam, Holland Festival and Nederlands Dans Theater will present groundbreaking programmes online, in the Digital Theatre, during the Christmas holidays. In order to connect makers, companies and (inter)national visitors, the initiators choose a programme during the Christmas holidays. The ideal period to be together, to feel... 

Theatre Maas and Tobias Kokkelmans at ITA, screenshot television broadcast Mon 18 Sept 2023

The flash marriage between theatre and television could hardly be any shorter. Or could it?

15 minutes of television. Theatre Maas, who used to be called Cornald, has managed to get Dutch theatre's biggest party back on kind of prime time television. On Monday 18 September, we saw his recap of this gala of Dutch theatre, which included awards, snippets of speeches and elated actors. I wondered if we could... 

PR image Pentheseleia by Dim Balsam

Eline Arbo's Penthesilea oscillates between madness and horniness at the Holland Festival

At the walk-in, several actors dribble across the bare stage. No set pieces, few lights, a little smoke from the machine. Slowly, the stage fills, and the actors line up at the front of the stage. The first scene is sung, a surprising choice. Then Diana, the high priestess of the Amazons, a brilliant role by Marieke Heebink, holds a... 

Ivo van Hove in 2020. Photo by Jan Versweyveld


Even though they are not yet members at ITA, let me pass on this press release. Because of its (inter)national importance. Coming: Ivo van Hove (1958) will end his role as artistic director of ITA on 1 September 2023. This means that he will then hand over his position as statutory director and artistic director. The Supervisory Board (BoS) intends to appoint Eline... 

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... 

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... 

Yemandja, in setless version, is very much neatly American though.

It shows either enormous guts, or boundless naivety, to make a musical in which a slave trader in Africa is converted by a song to a life of love and respect for fellow human beings. Yet Yemandja, the play that was performed in a setless performance at the Holland Festival, is actually just that. I could also explain... 

theatre group Amsterdam revives thanks to De Warme Winkel (so not an April fool after all)

Update April 2022: Turns out it's not an April fool's joke, so all the beats we were holding back at first turned out to be unnecessary. Since 2018, Toneelgroep Amsterdam no longer exists, as does the Capital's Stadsschouwburg. Together they have since formed 'Internationaal Theater Amsterdam', because that better suits the global ambitions of Ivo van Hove's Amsterdam city theatre. It was thus... 

Nerd podcast 14: These two reviewers remarkably agree on Catholic theatre, the Holland Festival, ITA and the upcoming summer

We once started this series because we disagree horribly about some things, but in practice things turn out differently. In episode 14 of this fascinating series of insider conversations about theatre and whatnot, we talk about a few Holland Festival performances and look ahead to the festival summer. As it turns out, the... 

Holland Festival celebrated the live arts in corona time

The 74th edition of the Holland Festival closed last weekend with the performances Transverse Orientation by Dimitris Papaioannou, Age of Rage by ITA-Ensemble and Pierrot Lunaire by Marlene Monteiro Freitas. The festival collaborated with two associate artists, Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and French-Austrian theatre maker Gisèle Vienne. Twenty-three companies played one hundred and eleven performances in twenty-five days. The festival presented seven world premieres and co-produced 11 international... 

ITA leaves exactly the wrong things to the imagination in Age of Rage. #HF21

In Electra, one of the finest tragedies handed down to us by the ancient Greeks, there is at least one piece of text that made history. It is the account of a horse race. You see nothing, but the language puts your imagination to work. 25 centuries later, they tried to turn the images described into real images for the... 

Mailles remains in the Holland Festival a closed oyster that does not reveal its pearl.

Something about roots, and that they are cut off and that this is inconvenient. Or not, because it gives freedom. Something about men and women, but what exactly didn't quite become clear in Mailles, which I got to experience at the Holland Festival on Thursday 10 June, after another curious test-for-access episode. The great hall of the building that I just don't... 

Theatre festival Boulevard changed the DNA of Den Bosch, even the Netherlands

Whether we want to speak only of 's-Hertogenbosch from now on. Apparently, a last vestige of decency has bravely survived in the provincial capital of Brabant. Nazmiye Oral, master of ceremonies at a party at Den Bosch's citadel on 9 June, forgot right the first time. City marketers and old nobility fight hand in hand for a respected name to trump the vernacular.... 

Museum directors: is their role as figureheads and media artists becoming more important than as art history experts?

Dutch museums, partly due to the recent digital Museum Week, have been able to retain a large part of their audience. There is - reports the Museum Association on its website - a slight turnover though. And the hitherto loyal public will not find their way to museums automatically and to the same extent. But the picture is that the... 

ITAlive reached 871,000 twitter followers via stream #romantragedies anyway. And special it was.

That Shakespeare is still relevant after four centuries doesn't even require putting him in modern clothes, but of course it helps. The worldwide success of Ivo van Hove and his 'Internationaal Theater Amsterdam' is therefore partly due to his Shakespeare adaptations 'Kings of War' and 'Roman Tragedies'. Marathons, hours of theatre with food in between. Valentine's Day 2021... 

Eddy Bellegueule live. Still impressive, but also makes you yearn for the real thing.

Yesterday, I finally saw 'Away with Eddy Bellegueule', the theatre hit of the previous broken and devastated theatre season, and saw that its creators had effortlessly bridged the gap between youth and grown-up theatre. The show is a nineties grunge concert with brilliant actors and intense visual direction by rising star Eline Arbo.

Milo Rau at opening Theatre Festival: 'Maybe we should deliver a little less and listen a little more'

Things need time and distance to become a story. Good, then, that in his 'State of Theatre,' the traditional opening of the theatre season, Rau did not take the floor himself, but handed it over to people who are now in the midst of the confusing time of austerity, coronasteun and political turmoil. Because the 100 international makers he asked for a book entitled "Why Theatre?" could not come because of the pandemic, six Dutch makers were invited. 

Call. Let culture workers take one-and-a-half metres of Space for the Imagination

Whether the 'cry for culture' ten years ago was the best response to the cuts announced then, I don't know, but just like then, I feel the urge to do something now. In response to a spontaneous statement of mine on Facebook, a still modest group of people emerged this weekend willing to commit to an idea... 

Fred Goessens leaves ITA: 'In every group there is such a reliable lobster as me'

Fred Goessens has been dead, but is still alive. As uncompromising as ever. The Netherlands' most reliable actor makes an interim will after twenty-two years with Toneelgroep Amsterdam. 'I had shit on everything' This interview was published 10 years ago in TheaterMaker, the trade magazine for the theatre sector. As Fred Goessens is now leaving ITA, the company where he once... 


On 2 March, Platform Aanvang! launched the petition Nederland maakt kunst / art makes the Netherlands at the Solidarity evening in ITA. An evening that opened the conversation for a solidarity sector, but most of all sounded the alarm for the planned downsizing of the arts sector. The petition was signed by more than 11,000 people in a week. When we saw the... 

Why a sooty coat should always be explained. (Without tour guides, ushers and interpreters, art loses any raison d'être.)

Art has always needed explanation. Even 'easy' art, even 'art that sells itself'. Art has needed that explanation ever since the first caveman found out that her sooty smudges on the cave wall looked very much like a bison. Actually, this is why it is wrong to speak of 'explanation' and 'need'. Art and story are one, since the... 

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