Café Culture

One of the great things about Utrecht is the range of cultural events going on around town. It’s not just standard events at the stadsschouwburg (city theater); it’s the monthly cultural Sunday events throughout town and the event that happened this weekend, the Café Theater Festival. From Friday through Sunday, at 20 cafés around town, short, half-hour plays were performed each night.

We were at the Potdeksel on Friday, of course, and got to see Falstaff maakt een Odyssee, a humorous telling of the story of Odysseus. It was in Dutch, but I got the gist of a lot of it. It was also a humorous retelling as they made the most of a few simple props and odds and ends in the bar itself. There were only two cast members and they worked their way through the bar to play the different parts. The Sirens were represented amusingly by a bit of pop music from the bar’s stereo system. Scylla was a group of flexible tubes located at one end of the bar, while Charybdis was a burst of steam from the coffee machine, located at the other end of the bar, with the one cast member running back and forth to represent each one, sometimes running fast and furious!

It was well done, at least from what I could understand, and I guess others agreed, since the play won the Publieksprijs (public prize). This annual festival is one of those smaller events that makes the city so great.