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Pr-picture The Toneelmakerij by Rachel Schraven

Paul Knieriem on his Hamlet for Amsterdam youth: 'Here you feel what representation and recognition does to a room'.

In mid-March, I went to see the Toneelmakerij's Hamlet, a performance specially made in and for Amsterdam-West. I had some questions about that performance, I wrote in the review, and we would discuss those questions in a podcast with Abdelkader Benali, the adaptor of the text, and Paul Knieriem, the director. An hour and a half before the recording... 

scene image by Kurt van der Elst

Pregnancy director Nina Spijkers was challenging The National Theatre on completion of Coriolanus

"That's what I'm going to tell Nina first, that afterwards the young women were the first to stand up and applaud and yell with enthusiasm for our Coriolanus." Remco van Rijn, dramaturge at The National Theatre, speaking after a try-out, just before the premiere of Coriolanus on 18 February. And Nina = Nina Spijkers, the original director of the play What... 

Talking about gender identity with grandma - Twelfth Night by Theatre Group Alum | Premiere on 23 December 2022

In this bleak everyday reality, Theatre Group Alum gives you the opportunity to escape to Ilyria, where audiences will be immersed in a world of romance, music and gender fluidity. From 21 to 30 December, this sneaky queer party takes over Theatre Kikker. Shakespeare Twelfth Night was written by William Shakespeare as a sneaky Queer party within the norms of the seventeenth... 

Why laughter is best left to us more often: Joseph Toonga teaches theatre rage #tfboulevard

Think Pussy Riot, think Rammstein, maybe think Nina Hagen before she found Jesus and mix that up nice and fierce. Then you get something that is basically an insane festival act. Raging female punk in a beer- and smoke-soaked nightclub, ferocious moshpits full of people who really have something to dance out of their souls. It's all in there... 

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... 

Nerd podcast #11: Samora Bergtop on white criticism with white critics Marijn Lems and Wijbrand Schaap

'We think we can think diversely, but ultimately there has to be an exchange in that thinking. Then you also have to let other perspectives come in. So you don't have to come up with it all by yourself.' Samora Bergtop has views on theatre criticism and how it could come out of its white bubble. Marijn lems and yours truly enter the conversation 

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... 

Threatened theatre directors speaking: 'It literally hurts me when I hear that something like this is going to be abolished.'

'I didn't know you could also be digitised away in this sector, but so you can.' Susanne Visser and Annemiek Lely sounded the alarm on Saturday 7 December. Their jobs as ushers at theatre performances are in jeopardy. Companies would rather keep people engaged through podcasts, and such an usher only costs money. On Monday, December 9, we obtained... 

'At many theatres, you don't have to arrive if you don't bring your own audience.'

I spoke to Peter Pluymaekers, artistic director of Theatre Group Zep, about what it is like to make theatre for vmbo students. The occasion was the not-so-jubilant performance of Cleopatra. Listen to the podcast on anchor: 'I'm always a bit reluctant to do Shakespeare. I find him difficult, and young people often find him corny. I felt the same about 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... 

Colleges have been left out of all discussions on education for far too long.

"When you tell it, it all seems so logical," a good friend said last week, "if a board were to hear this..." Education, every day it is in the newspaper and we debate society-wide dully about the importance of good education, about teacher shortages and class sizes. While the cabinet sits mute in the hope of getting out from under... 

Colonisation is not a relationship. But we still need to establish that relationship, this Holland Festival showed.

Post-colonial criticism and reflection ran like a thread through this year's Holland Festival programme. Not only William Kentrigde and Faustin Linyekula, the associate artists with whom the festival's programmers collaborated, their work addresses the devastating effects of centuries of Western European trade and commerce. In reframing political and social history and reclaiming... 

Antony and Cleopatra, Tiago Rodrigues. Photo: Magda Bizarro.

'I have no problem at all if spectators want to see Anthony and Cleopatra. But for me, it's about something else.' Tiago Rodrigues writes theatre for dancers.

Anthony and Cleopatra is exactly the kind of repertory piece that people look forward to during the Holland Festival, or any other prestigious stage. Director and writer Tiago Rodrigues manages not so much to deflate that grandiose expectation as to reduce it to the intimacy of a duet and a play with extremely basic theatrical gestures. His two actors are dancers, an experienced choreographer duo 

Film concert featuring West Side Story, Bernstein's indictment of discrimination

Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The AVROTROS Friday Concert puts his most popular piece, West Side Story, on the programme on Saturday (!) 26 May. The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra will play the electrifying music full of ecstatic melodies and vital dances live at the integral screening of the original 1961 film. The whole thing is conducted by the young American conductor 

Daria Bukvić holds up a mirror to theatres and companies on SPOT Live: 'I don't shy away from new forms of marketing.'

'With my performances, I always try to make people feel that they are really going to miss a happening. 'The first performance with personal stories of four Moroccan-Dutch actresses in the big theatres of the Netherlands, the newest this, the most surprising that.' Daria Bukvić is one of the most exciting creators to enter the theatre world in recent years. She is not only... 

A fertile repertoire landscape.

Performing arts policy greatly determines what can be seen and heard on Dutch stages. It underpins government funding of theatre and music. This policy pays a lot of attention to the quality of performances, but it hardly discusses the choice of pieces played, let alone what kind of repertoire landscape... 

Annelies van Parys: 'No more beautiful symbol of love than a flower'

In 2014, Annelies van Parys (1975) composed her first opera, Private View, for Asko|Schönberg and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart. It was awarded the FEDORA - Rolf Liebermann Prize for Opera shortly afterwards. The Stuttgart singers submissively asked her to compose a new piece for them. Songs of Love and War/An Archive of Love will premiere 20 May at Operadagen... 

Theatre from the sofa: from the South Bank of the Thames to Broadway in one evening.

For many a theatre lover, watching from the bench will be swearing in church. The atmosphere in the theatre and direct contact is missing. Totally true, and yet the advantages of sitting comfortably, watching when you want, subtitles and the on-demand W.C. break are also worth something. While enjoying a fireside chat, you're not looking at the back of anyone's head.... 

SPOT-LIVE takes you into the minds of leading, original and exciting creators and thinkers. 15 May 2018, Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie Leeuwarden

What happens when original and exciting makers and thinkers shape the SPOT-LIVE programme? If a leading philosopher, theatre-maker or musician is allowed to fill the stage with debate, what would it be about? If they were allowed to inspire you with work that touches them, what would they showcase? Get inspired by three curators who will share with you their views on... 

Peter Brook: everything in the universe can be extraordinary.

In the early 1990s, I am sitting in a small auditorium at The National Theatre in London. Before the performance starts, someone on stage asks if you want to greet the visitors next to you. This immediately creates a different, more intimate dynamic in the auditorium. On a tight stage with only a few props are four actors and an Arab musician. Yoshi Oida... 

Playwrights and cultural exploration (2) Sophie Kassies: 'A pool of plays that don't find an audience is an erosion of the profession'

The previous cultural exploration among playwrights gives cause for further exploration. From the earlier article, we take away that further privatisation only partially captures public money and objectives. See also from elevation ideals to efficiency thinking. We also take away that a public as all-important leads to one-sided popular culture, entertainment and false competition with the free circuit. It all has very little... 

Our readers' list. What we should all never forget from 2017.

Well, we're not big on hypes and traditions here, but still. The dark days around Christmas are very dark this year, so why not something with lists. This year, no list of toppers from the editors, but random entries from random readers, in random, if slightly alphabetical order. Motto of the readers' question was: which things... 

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dutch proverbs, oil on panel, 1559, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

'Playwriting is flourishing,' says the Language Union. Time for an exploration among playwrights.

On 6 December 2017, the Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs was awarded to poet, writer and playwright Ilja Leonard Pfeiffer. With his play about Bram Moszkowitcz, titled 'The lawyer', he was the preferred original work among 47 submissions. According to the Taalunie, Pfeiffer's play 'balances magisterially on the fine line between tragedy and comedy, realistic drama and meta-thought, slapstick and emotion.... 

Rufus Norris makes theatre out of Brexit: 'Theatres are the echo chamber of the leftist bubble'

The wind blows harder there than elsewhere. The light is greyer there than further afield. London's south bank, for years 'the other side' of the English capital's posh city centre, has been the subject of several waves of renewal in the last century. It began in 1951 with the construction of concert hall 'Southbank Centre', followed in 1976, after years of wrangling, by the building in the same... 

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