The Dutch Theatre Festival celebrates the highlights of Dutch and Belgian theatre over the past year. A professional jury pick the very best productions of the last 12 months and these shows are staged again during the festival. Not only do you have a last chance to see critically acclaimed shows you may have missed during the year, you also get the chance to attend theatre master classes and lectures hosted by world-class theatre experts. Most of the shows will be staged in Stadsschouwburg, Theater Bellevue and De Krakeling, with many shows subtitled in English. Here’s my list of must-see shows:
Schwalbe seeks crowd -XL – 7 September
As a psychology graduate, I’ve studied the psychology of groups and ‘crowd mentality’.This will be an interesting production as it has a 200-strong cast with the aim of showing how crowds behave. I expect this to be quite an immersive experience as the cast stampede through the audience with a view to getting audience members to feel as though they are part of the crowd. How will you act in this crowd? What happens to your reason and logic when you are in a crowd? Where is your individuality? One not to be missed!
Long day’s journey into night – 9-10 September
A thought-provoking play about family ties. We can all relate to the phrase, ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ when it comes to family members! A dark tale from Eugene O’Neill, depicting his own story of growing up with an alcoholic father and brother, and his mother’s addiction. A story so dark that O’Neill insisted this story would only be told after his death. And yet from the darkness, there is hope and a deep love between the characters that keeps them together. I think I may pack a load of tissues for this one!
Stranger – 8-9 September
Do you fancy actually being in a board game? Created by Emke Idema, Stranger is a life-size board game where you are a participant as well as an observer. Idema seeks for you to question your first impressions. We all know we shouldn’t ‘judge a book by it’s cover’, but let’s face it, we all do! Idema has done some extensive preparation for this show; taking portraits of people in different cities as well as interviewing them. I’d like to think I’m a good judge of people, but I suspect this production will make me question certain stereotypes I may have in my subconscious that I was never aware of. A must-visit for me!
These are just 3 of the shows that I will have time to see. There are many more that I unfortunately cannot see due to time constraints, such as a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is said to be the most imaginative version yet, as well a play on Anne Frank that’s based on all versions of her diary, and not the ‘sanctioned’ one we may have all read in school. For a full list of shows, click below and get some dates in your diary!