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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... 

ensemble Wuthering Heights. Photo: Steve Tanner

Glossy role for the bog in unprecedentedly perfect update of Wuthering Heights at Holland Festival

I can't resist mentioning it, because I think they were doing it for a reason, the dancers in the musical Wuthering Heights making really visible big rounds with their arms one time: this was a half-second reference to Kate Bush's world-changing 'windmill swings' in the music video to her legendary 1978 pop song. A subtle nod as in my... 

Perhaps we are all ready for low-incentive art

4 million Dutch people have a brain disorder. The Brain Foundation comes up with that figure in a campaign to make people more aware of the consequences of brain injury. Often that injury leads to extreme sensitivity to stimuli. Then loud noise, bright light or sharp smell is suddenly a big problem. People affected by these can find it difficult to go outside. That is why ... 

Club Gewalt shows depth but not feeling in 'Anthropocene the musical'

Sometimes I dream of a subsidy system where artists can actually carry out their wild plans all the way, to the extreme. Or, indeed, are obliged to do so. That, for example, if you make a musical, you actually have to put a live band on stage, and are not allowed to use a studio recording. And that you then have to pay money for that... 

Fear and trembling in the cultural sector: the dark side of the 'trickle down'

Pure panic and existential angst: that's the picture you get when you approach makers in the arts personally about the effects of trickle down (the trickle down of corona funding from the government to those makers). The Creative Coalition may be making a fist for them, talking to the minister about it, the institutes debating it, but the creators are silent.... 

PODCAST: Everything had to be different for Patricia Goduto

Patricia Goduto (37) was on stage in major Stage Entertainment shows early this century when an old childhood trauma played up and plunged her into a years-long psychosis. Her life changed irrevocably, she became addicted to drugs and alcohol and was declared incurable by her practitioners. Now she has been on stage for a few years, cured of her... 

Spielberg, #metoo and corona: Ivo van Hove's West Side Story does not survive crisis

It was supposed to be Ivo van Hove's big break on Broadway. And it was meant to be, but fate decided otherwise. It was announced today via US show news Variety that West Side Story, in Ivo van Hove's modern, raucous version, will not be revived. Despite a jubilant reception and virtually sold-out theatres,... 

Choreographer Ernst Meisner: 'What works for me is an empty studio where I turn on the music at night and walk around for a hundred hours'

Choreographer Ernst Meisner (1982) is artistic coordinator of the Dutch National Ballet's Junior Company and artistic director of the National Ballet Academy. As a former dancer, he knows that you have to get out of the rehearsal studio, onto the stage. That's why he makes sure his dancers and dancers-in-training keep dancing in front of an audience as much as possible, even if the performances are online because of corona. 'I... 

Ryan van den Akker plays Hiroshima in a child's soul; Voice of Alfred Jodocus Kwak comes to Enschede

At Concordia and the Vestzaktheatre, many performances continue as a live stream. On Saturday 13 March, for instance, Ryan van den Akker (known in musical leading roles such as Cyrano, My Fair Lady, Elisabeth, De Jantjes) will drop by with her performance 'Hiroshima in a child's soul'. A unique, personal narration of a poignant and terrifying story from her childhood. Theatre programmer Ellen Peters: "I find... 

Yet another hassle around MusicalMakers: Fleischmann becomes director despite objection from Culture Council

News arrived this week that Andreas Fleischmann, the highly esteemed director of Amsterdam's DeLaMar Theatre, has now officially become director-director of Stichting MusicalMakers, the foundation he had set up last year, a day before the deadline for grant applications for four-year state funding. And that is not allowed.

The Platform for Freelance Musicians in action

29 June is an important day for culture: the Lower House will then debate emergency support for the sector. Our message to politicians: "300 million euros of emergency support that OCW has available for the cultural sector is nowhere near enough to keep the sector afloat. Adopt the motion of PvDA, GroenLinks and SP!" In... 

The BIS is dead, long live the Puppets

Let's just start with the good news: De Staat is a regular fixture in the Netherlands from now on. And so we are talking about the band De Staat. Who make fantastic music videos these days. They have been promoted from a four-year grant with the Performing Arts Fund to a four-year grant according to the Cultural Basic Infrastructure (BIS). With 55 other newcomers. All weighed... 

The advice is here. What will happen in Dutch subsidised culture over the next four years?

This is the recording of the presentation: And here is the full text of the press release. Explanation follows, but we will read first. More room for innovation and culture outside the Randstad provinces 04-06-2020 | 14:00 | The Hague The Council for Culture advises giving more institutions with innovative cultural offerings and institutions from outside the Randstad provinces the chance to be on... 

The Q of figurehead and bassist

I have always found the Q to be a nice fresh thing. Now unfortunately I am not a synesthete, but my imagination tells me today that the Q feels cheeky. Sounds nice and succinct. The Q qlaps into my qeel and is punchy blue. Or shiny. Not ordi, but tough. Of shiny metallic seventies leather. The Q in a catsuit. Supple now plays... 

(Update: government still announces extra money.) Dear government, Dutch culture is not a question of supply and demand, but of what we are or are not.

Update Wednesday 15-4, 16:00: this afternoon, the government has decided to come over as yet with additional schemes for the cultural sector, which are now no longer taken out of the culture budget. Apparently, the massive pressure helped. We will let you know when more is known about it. Update Wednesday 15-4, 20:00: Drop in the ocean arrived, leaving the below message only.... 

Dutch artists call for massive support for free theatre producers.

In a fire letter to Minister van Engelshoven, more than a thousand actors and directors ask to financially support the free theatre producers in the Corona crisis. Together, the free theatre producers annually provide 60% of the supply in Dutch theatres and theatres. They do so with their own investments and without subsidies. Through the measures taken in the fight against Corona 

Five stars. Or more. Why we need heroines like Tina Turner. 

What. Have. We. Terrible. Much. Too. Learning. If there is 1 thing the musical Tina makes clear, it is that. Especially at the stormy premiere, Sunday 9 February, a few hours before storm Ciara blew the last bubbles out of the Utrecht champagne glasses. An almost completely white auditorium, in Black Tie, that is, with only a few people from... 

Miss Ballet is a pleasantly deranged mess, and an ode to fantasy

Much has already been said about Almere, that it is ugly, for instance, or too car-oriented. There are also few cities in Europe where the four-lane roads extend as gloriously to the shopfront as in Almere. I'd like to add a note of praise. Coming from the station, walking across an artificial dune of car parks and fast-food chains, skimming past... 

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... 

Why I am suddenly hugely in favour of live music in any theatre performance.

I went to Rotterdam Zuid to see Shakespeare. The play was called Cleopatra and someone had tried to turn it into a feminist manifesto. That is something like making a rhinoceros jump through a hoop: the British bard relates to feminism as Thierry Baudet relates to Greta Thunberg. So it had not succeeded, and the reviewer of... 

Lazarus in Dutch premiere: it's Valentine's Day!

Before I say anything substantive about Lazarus, Sunday 13 October the musical premiere for people who never go to musicals, a few misunderstandings the world over. First of all, the album Blackstar, which David Bowie released three days before his death on 11 January 2016, is NOT the soundtrack to Lazarus, his musical that was released a month before his death.... 

Ivo van Hove directed a top-notch broadcast of Zomergasten, with a wonderful lead role for Janine Abbring.

Janine Abbring has managed to pull the somewhat ramshackle institution Zomergasten out of the doldrums. She has fun, is excellently prepared, is genuinely interested in her guests and has managed to push the eternal battle element into the background without making the broadcasts less exciting. That battle element was always: does the interviewer succeed in 'breaking' the guest? Because. 

Gijs Naber takes forced rest and abandons lead role in Lazarus. Dragan Bakema replaces him.

Dragan Bakema will play the lead role of Newton in David Bowie's Lazarus. Gijs Naber has been forced to hand back the role after coming to the conclusion that he has made too much hay in recent times. Gijs Naber: "In the run-up to the rehearsal period, I came to the conclusion that I have been making too much hay in recent years... 

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