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William Shakespeare

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... 

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 

You won't want to miss these three operas by women during Operadagen Rotterdam

Friday 12 May kicks off the twelfth edition of Operadagen Rotterdam. Titled Lost & Found, the ten-day festival is dedicated to current refugee issues. I selected three operas by Calliope Tsoupaki, Annelies van Parys and Claron McFadden, strong women whose work deserves to be heard (and seen). The fear of the unknown is as old as the... 

Composer Moritz Eggert: 'Caliban turns from victim to perpetrator'

'Many opera productions still assume a nineteenth-century vision of the world,' says German composer Moritz Eggert (1965) in the podcast below. 'But art must be relevant to our own times; the answers of then are not the answers of now. Our current problems are largely rooted in our colonial past, in our exploitation of other countries ... 

Romeo and Juliet: loose highlights in the Amsterdam Forest

Huge passenger trunks, like those at the airport, are stacked crosswise on the stage in the Amsterdam Forest. This immense rendition forms the backdrop of Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare in the Amsterdam Bostheater's performance. Director Ingejan Ligthart Schenk stages Shakespeare's classic modern, with acrobatics by the Tent Circustheater group and musical input by De Veenfabriek.

We are the forest. Christiane Jatahy achieves maximum impact at #HF16

There are countries in the world, where the boundaries between art disciplines are not as sharply drawn as they are here. The Holland Festival, under the new leadership of Ruth MacKenzie, is catching us up. She is bringing events here where the boundaries between visual art, performance, video, film and performing arts can no longer be drawn. Events that generate meaning in ways that are quite new to us, such as The Encounter, last week, and Gardens Speak, later this week.

The Walking Forest is performance you definitely want to watch twice (HF16)

Brazilian Christiane Jatahy was at the Holland Festival last year with the play What If they went to Moscow. She came, saw and conquered. This year, she comes with the final part of the trilogy of stage adaptations, The Walking Forest. The title refers to the three witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, who foretell his rise and fall. The play was the starting point for a performance with four video screens, a bar, an actress, a dead fish and, oh yes, an audience.

There are ...

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Publicity image Macbeth - Mark Kraan and Saskia Temmink - Het Zuidelijk Toneel - photographer Casper Rila_lying

Embarrassment? 7 Reasons why Southern Drama Macbeth has nothing to do with Shakespeare.

How far can you go in using Shakespeare's name for a theatre production? Or rather, when does an adaptation of a classic stop being an adaptation, and when should you just come out and say that you have written your own play? And then, if you've reported in your four-year plan that in 2016 you will be doing a Shakespeare... 

Cooking for Richard III: 'Of course we tie off our sauces with a little blood'

Eating on stage. That's the standard 'Theatre Dinner', but more exciting. Especially if Shakespeare's Richard III is played during dessert. Toneelgroep Oostpool, the Arnhem-based company that has been going strong in recent years with striking performances, goes one step further again in exploring the ultimate audience experience. Sjim Hendrix, not only a cook, but also an artist and... 

Van Hove's 'Kings of War' is an intriguing trip

Power and leadership, can one exist without the other? Toneelgroep Amsterdam presented a sampling of three types of leaders on Sunday 14 June at the Holland Festival with 'Kings of War'. Three historical plays by Shakespeare about the struggle for power between the Houses of Lancaster and York together provided the fuel for this performance. With large black letters on a white... 

Lanoye's Shakespeare adaptation voted best playable Dutch play

100 Dutch plays were presented to them, the 224 Dutch heavy users of our theatre seats who took part in a survey by the Amsterdam Institute for Theatre Studies. Plays that ranged from fairly well-known, such as Herman Heijermans' 'Op Hoop van Zegen' from the beginning of the last century and Joost van den Vondel's 460-year-old tragedy 'Lucifer', to completely unknown, such as... 

Hamlet more in demand than Jay Z and Beyoncé. That can only happen in the UK

We are talking about the summer of 2015. Then Benedict Cumberbatch will play the title role in Hamlet, to be seen at the Barbican Centre in London. For the show, which plays for 12 weeks, 214% more tickets have already been sold in the first few hours after ticket sales opened yesterday than for Jay Z and Beyoncé's tour, which is on the same... 

National Ballet performs enchanting Tempest

To commemorate the 450th birth anniversary of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Krzysztof Pastor created a full-length choreography for the National Ballet, loosely based on The Tempest (1611). The performance is part of the Holland Festival. Dramaturge Willem Bruls adapted Shakespeare's last play about the prince Prospero, exiled to an island, and his daughter Miranda into a script in which the story is told four times, from as many perspectives. The result is ...

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'I have all of Shakespeare's records in my cupboard'

The press presentation of the open-air opera Orfeo ed Eurydice at Soestdijk at the time attracted just under a hundred people press and sponsors. At the presentation of the performance 'Much ado about nothing', The Utrecht Games attracted only a handful: someone from weblog, two people from the Stadsblad Utrecht and an indeterminate camera crew who had come exclusively for Suzan Visser.... 

In the wonderfully subtle The Speaker's Progress, Shakespeare's farce suddenly becomes a revolutionary weapon #hf12

Tight-lipped. Freshly cut. And with a beatific, apt voice, The Speaker - played by director Sulayman Al-Bassam - looks like a slick public relations man. Or better: a civilised Arab dictator with an Oxford degree. One of those who is supported by the West and deeply hated by his own people. He steps behind a lectern and narrates. Once upon a time,... 

5-hour marathon Roman Tragedies favourite with spectators Toneelgroep Amsterdam

Photo: jan Versweyveld We were somewhat mildly ironic about it, but hats off, meanwhile, to Toneelgroep Amsterdam's PR department and the audience, who responded remarkably well to the 'choose the reprise' campaign the company launched a few weeks back. We have the hard numbers we feared we would never see. And they are credible. We quote the press release:.... 

Top or flop: audience picks repertoire first theatre company in the Netherlands

We got another press release, and wondered: top or flop? How does idiosyncratic artistry rhyme with audience-determined repertoire choice? Andne: do all those people who chose the winning piece also get a free-or at least discounted-ticket to the performance of their choice? Andne: who checks the results, as there is no notary. Enne:. 

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