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theatre on the spui

National Theatre plays on simply brilliantly

Thank God the theatres are reopening to more audiences and The National Theatre is still playing for a while, for instance with the infectious Every Brilliant Thing with Tamar van den Dop or Bram Suijker. At the Theater aan het Spui on Wednesday 1 July, Tamar van den Dop in the afternoon and Bram Suijker in the evening played their first Every Brilliant Thing. It is,... 

If no one comes up with a Plan B... 

On 23 October, website wrote a piece on the future of the performing arts. A future that is black and gloomy when you, as a creator, count on growth, or even survival at all. In short: so much money is going away from the Performing Arts Fund, that from next year only between 50 and 60 applications can be honoured, in... 

Minister Van Engelshoven: 'CaDance is a gift'. Blame her.

Peaks and valleys right from the opening night of CaDance, the festival of contemporary dance. From toe-curlingly long dance to sky-high drama. Highlights: dancer Sammie Hermans and the entire Mom:Me. Crushing New artistic director Stacz Wilhelm, in the presence of the minister during his opening speech, names the harsh years of austerity since 2013. The so-called obviousness of art he wants to... 

TivoliVredenburg during construction. Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Without TivoliVredenburg, the improvement of the Utrecht station area would have come to nothing.

There is an artist café in Utrecht that few Utrechters know about. And I don't mean Theatercafé De Bastaard, where by now a whole generation of actors, filmmakers and writers come from, but the artists' foyer of TivoliVredenburg. I've eaten and hung out there a few times, as an embedded reporter of De Nacht van de Poëzie, when it's very late into... 

Amsterdam has the @HollandFestival. Ask yourself why that is. And whether that's ok.

Last week, while walking the dog, my neighbour Stefanie asked, "What is that anyway, this Holland Festival?", and I almost caught myself wearily going to explain that it was the most important performing arts festival the Netherlands and its environs and that everyone with a bit of education should know it. But I held back. And wondered: how... 

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... 

Winternachten 2018 ended up being a beautiful ode to anger. #wu18

She is 14, heavily veiled and bespectacled, with a voice that can be heard in the farthest corners of The Hague. She wants to be a surgeon but first she wins the preliminary round of the school competition for young poets at Winternachten. What anger there is in that person. What maturity sounds from her cry... 

Opening Night at Winternachten celebrates the power of perseverance, and supports writers in captivity. (Why sometimes a cardboard TV can help)

'Writing and reading, like sex, are a form of fusion. Literature is the practice of impurity'. Pakistani-American author Mohsin Hamid can formulate. In his Free the Word speech at the opening of Winternachten in The Hague, the man, who wrote an international bestseller with The Fall of a Fundamentalist, made a case for impurity. 'Purity,' he told the... 

Winternachten Festival offers the best chance to see great writers up close. And Francis Broekhuijsen.

From 18 January, The Hague will be all about Winternachten. We think this is the most fun literature festival in the west of the Netherlands. This year, it is about Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood, the motto of the French Revolution, among other things. But also about Karl Marx. Under the motto 'we the people', Winternachten is therefore about populism and secession,... 

Scenic photo Rishi. Photo: Joris Jan Bos

The sharpest theatre of 2017 comes from The Hague: Rishi of Firma Mes

If theatre can do anything, it is to put us outside reality. Not even to make you dream away, but to stop that reality for a moment and look at it in a different way. Call it the Ti-Ta-Wizard moment. To stop the action at the dramatic climax, to take the sting out of the wasp, or the fuse out of the powder keg.... 

Lesson 1 of a Literature Festival: translators are really nice people. #ILFU17

Dutch, ladies and gentlemen, is just about the most difficult language in the world, and any committee that wants to improve it only makes it worse. As a professional language user, I have thought so for years, and it has now been happily confirmed by people who really know about it: translators. The first day of the International Literature Festival Utrecht (ILFU)... 

Howl Spinvis

Spinvis' talk show Howl gets completely out of hand

Dance artist Amos Ben-Tal and songwriter Spinvis put together an intriguing talk show. And it does not go at all as you expect. Because what happens when you get a very Dutch songwriter and an Israeli choreographer with a ballet past to produce a joint performance? Right. The talk show The light in the room stays on. We the audience, are a talk show audience. Also on stage are... 

Michel Faber: 'Writing is an act of protest' #wu17

It was a beautiful and disarming lecture by Australian-Dutch writer Michel Faber, yesterday at the Friday Night Unlimited of the literary festival Winternachten, in his hometown The Hague. His lecture was on 'Fiction in times of fake'. 'Before I start making lofty statements about literature and what literature is capable of in today's world, I want to be open with... 

Ten reasons to go to literary festival Winternachten

Writers Unlimited could hardly have chosen a more appropriate theme for this year's literary festival Winternachten: Is this the real life? That question will be on many a mind when the new president of the United States is inaugurated on Friday. Fortunately, some eighty writers who do have something meaningful to say about the state of... 

picket art prizes

Young artists receive Piket Art Awards and lots of money

On the day that in the Lower House, Minister Bussemaker passes up a chance for extra money for culture, young artists further down the street are winning prizes. On Monday 21 November, the Education, Culture and Science Committee spoke to Minister Bussemaker about the Culture Budget. Something that has far-reaching implications for the culture sector. Later in the evening, the presentation of... 

Rader works and rebellious emotions

Years ago, Nederlands Dans Theater profiled itself with the slogan "challenging dance". That applies well to Straight Around. This performance by youth company NDT2 premiered at Holland Dance Festival in The Hague on 18 February. The company does not immediately make things easy for its audience with the four danced pieces, but for those who know how to empathise, there is... 

connie palms

A Saturday night with Connie Palmen, Adriaan van Dis and Socrates. #wu16, #wn16

Next time, there will be 10 people queuing for a hotseat, 100 online viewers and dozens of live spectators in the foyer. At least I hope so, because only then will experimenting with new forms, apps and devices make sense, of course. At the second Winternachten night, Saturday 16 January at the Theater aan het Spui, we had slightly fewer viewers than... 

Queues to the door for Knausgård at Winternachten #wu16 #wn16

Lots of audience and wonderful stories made the Saturday of the literary festival Winternachten a party. For Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård's visit in the afternoon, queues stretched from the hall to the front door of the Theater aan het Spui. Poet and writer Rodaan al Galidi read about his years spent in an asylum seekers' centre. ©Marc 

winter nights opening: debate

'Western writers are part of oppression'

The annual presentation of the International PEN Awards during the opening of Winternachten in The Hague is never a truly convivial affair. After all, every year at least one of the awardees is unable to receive the prize herself. Because she has been captured, because he is missing, or ill. This year, Thursday 14 January at the Theater aan het Spui, could... 

Winternachten is about something

Hello Darkness is the theme of the international literary festival Winternachten, this coming weekend in The Hague. It takes guts, in a time when everything has to be fun and cosy and we prefer not to spend our free time dealing with misery or 'heavy topics'. That is why we love Winternachten, because that festival really goes... 

Susan Neiman chief guest at Winternachten 2016: Why the atomic bomb really fell on Hiroshima

Propaganda is not just something that occurs in, say, Russia, but also in the West - more so than we ourselves realise. For example, is it widely believed today that the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan to capitulate and thus end World War II, nothing could be further from the truth. In that respect, Germany goes... 

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... 

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 

Scene photo Swarte Art Foundation, 'The peach of immortality'

To remember is to descend into the deepest caverns of failure and sorrow

The only one really remembered in Jan Wolkers' novel 'The Peach of Immortality' is former resistance fighter Ben Ruwiel. On 5 May 1980, the entry of the Canadians from 35 years earlier was celebrated in Amsterdam. The crowds, not far from where Ben lives, fill him with disgust. It is unreal. People, wrapped up by welfare society, have no concept of... 

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