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Joris Smit

Romana Vrede, Photo: Bas de Brouwer

The three-quarters empty hall gives more intimacy than a full hall. HNT always plays; warming and confusing

What impressions, what images stick? Why am I enjoying this so much? The performances during the corona crisis deliver great gratitude: that I get to experience this, that actors, writers, directors and collaborators are faithful to perform for me for weeks or even months on end. The declaration of love is mutual.

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... 

The Nation at the Holland festival: a theatre addiction in the making #HF17

Netflix and HBO are now purveyors of our conversations with friends, family and colleagues. The ultimate icebreaker at a party with strangers is talking about series, about beloved characters. Is Jon Snow still alive? Where is Barb? Having seen the first two working performances of 'The Nation', I have a strong impression that in Eric de Vroedt I have a fellow lover... 

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... 

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... 

Photo: Jochem Jurgens

The Kiss and DUS in final stage award nominations

The Utrecht Games (DUS), with its successful production August Oklahoma, immediately wins three nominations for the theatre awards to be handed out in September: Ria Eimers for best female lead, and Peter Bolhuis and Tjitsjke Reidinga compete for the prizes for best supporting actress. Percentage-wise, however, much more successful than DUS is De Kus, a production by Hummelinck Stuurman, because there the... 

Rascals and heroes battle for power at Utrecht Festival a/d Werf

There is no such thing as the perfect human being. We are all crooks. Or is there a way to get it right? Ilay den Boer and the actors of De Utrechtse Spelen / De Warme Winkel each explore in their own way at the 26th edition of Festival aan de Werf. Wasn't my grandfather just an asshole? That... 

Pictorial 'Raging heights, restless souls' for people of all ages #tf2010

Wuthering Heights is often mentioned in the same breath as other nineteenth-century classics such as Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice, but Emily Brontë's book is infinitely darker than those other coquettish girl books. Heathcliff and Cathy's big, dramatic passion actually connects surprisingly well with emos who are Twilight, True Blood and devour other contemporary vampire stories.

Adaptor Jeroen Olyslaegers and director Floor Huygen were well aware of this when they adapted the novel for the stage into Fierce heights, restless souls, a co-production of Dutch youth theatre company Artemis and Flemish Antigone. The show garnered high praise, can now be seen in TF, but was also nominated for two Gouden Krekels, the awards for youth theatre.

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