The other evening, G and I decided to walk past the Stadsschouwburg to see the structure that had been going up for the Festival a/d Werf. It was opening night, so we actually got to see the building in use. The program being presented is Dat Staat (That State). As the program explains, it is “a challenging theater project in which actors, audience, and experts — in six days — establish a new state, and perhaps create history”.
From what we could see, it does seem to be fairly interactive. The audience was seated in sections and they all seemed to be wearing sashes. I couldn’t hear very well, but it definitely seemed like audience members were being chosen to stand up and interact and perhaps give opinions. It seemed to have a humorous element to it, though, because one of the actors who was calling on audience members seemed to be dressed as Qaddafi. The show took an even more surrealistic turn when “Qaddafi” appeared up on a second level and began playing a keyboard/playing DJ while singing Lionel Ritchie’s infamous song, Hello.
The show seemed to be in a mix of Dutch and English. One of the MCs was speaking in Dutch, but the Qaddafi character was speaking in English during the part that we saw. I didn’t hear which language the audience member responded in when she was called upon. It seems like it might be an interesting program. If you’re in town and interested in seeing it, it runs May 21, 22, 25, and 26, and begins at 20:30. Tickets are €15 online.
Happy Hemelvaart, otherwise known as Ascension Day. This is one of those rare Dutch national holidays that is just really foreign to me. Considering how quiet it has been in town today, at least on our side, you’d think that it was a major holiday carefully observed by everybody. The reality is probably that most people are having a quiet, lazy day at home or have gone to the beach to make the most of the slight improvement of the weather. Me? I’ve been writing about alloy wheels. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t feel like much of a holiday for me today.
I’ve fallen a bit behind on updating my calendar of events, but there are a couple of interesting events coming up this weekend. First up the Bier Brouwers Festival (Beer Brewers Festival). It takes place at Molen de Ster on Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. Entrance is free, but if you want to try the beers, you have to purchase a special glass for €4. There will be eight brewers there with various beers on tap. There will also be food and music, and I’m sure it will be a fun experience.
Festival a/d Werf begins today and runs through May 26. For the next 10 days, the city becomes a stage for all sorts of arts and performances. If you’ve been wondering about strange temporary structures popping up around town, this is most likely the answer!
Finally, starting tomorrow, the Design Route 030 (030 is the Utrecht area code) kicks off. Thirty designers, new and established, will have their work on display in various shop windows and other locations. The event kicks off tomorrow night at 20:00, with an opening party at Winkel van Sinkel. You can walk the route on your own any time to see the different works. It runs through 24 May, and you can find the route on the website. The Dutch do some talented work in the design field, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
The annual Festival aan de Werf has been going on for the past week or so and as always, something interesting has gone up in the Neude square. Last year is was a giant inflatable penguin. This year it’s a massive sign. I liked the idea of that particular sign/saying juxtaposed with the Domtoren. It certainly required big plans to get the Domtoren built back in the 1300s.
The weather has turned lovely and everyone is enjoying it, throwing open windows, sitting outdoors, and just generally living the gezellig life. Even I’m feeling more like myself again, even if I do get easily tired. To make the most of the good weather and my return to health, G and I headed out this morning to hit up a few shops on Nachtegaalstraat. I had my camera with me, of course and took a few shots along the way. I figured I’d share some of the photos I took today that seemed to embody the spirit of the day. As you can see from the first photo, even the neighborhood cats were enjoying the spring weather and the open windows!
The annual Festival aan de Werf is going on this week and the area in front of the stadsschouwburg (city theater) has been taken over by a colorful part of the festival. I loved the geometric shapes, simple colors, and bright sunshine.
Unfortunately, by the time I got to that point, I was already feeling a bit wiped out. In my head I could envision the type of photo I wanted to get, focusing tightly on the shapes, but my mind just wasn’t moving quickly enough. I guess that’s the result of only really having two meals in three days. Still, with a bit of cropping, I got something close to what I had in mind. Fortunately, I’ve got the rest of the week to try again.
Even our own animals couldn’t resist the siren song of the sunlight. Pippo made a beeline for the terrace when we got home and started sunning himself under the apple tree. It’s a dog’s life!
Tomorrow or Monday — Eerste and Tweede Pinksterdag (a two-day celebration of the Pentacost, and national holidays here) — I’ll be going over to the Griftpark to check out this year’s Utrechtse Fabriek, an indie craft show. I went last year and got to meet Nina from ninainvorm, who makes lovely pottery, including a piece I have. This year I’ll definitely be going to check out the work of fellow Utrecht-resident Kerry, of solohandmade. Even if you don’t get to go to the show, check out her website. She makes beautiful stuff!