The curtain rises again on the English-speaking theater in the Netherlands
With theaters reopening after the long hiatus, now is the perfect time to entertain themselves richly while providing the industry with the much-needed support. For English productions, look for the “language no problem” label in Dutch theaters or consult the agendas of the many English-speaking theater companies scattered around the Randstad.
Queen’s English Theater Company
QETC has brought two decades of high quality English language theater to the capital with a company of professionally trained English speaking actors. The productions include works by iconic writers such as Alan Bennett and Oscar Wilde, as well as a handful of musicals. In November, we will be treated to a dose of burlesque when the comic thriller The 39 steps returns the CC Amstel to the Pijp.
The production choices of Inplayers, the capital’s oldest English-speaking theater group, are as varied as the international company, from musical and panto theater to more serious plays like The Elephant Man. Then it’s comedy with The Righteous Burglar and Silver wedding anniversary serving a double portion of stuffing at the Polanentheater in the Sparndammerbuurt.
AA’s pre-pandemic performance of The God of Carnage was a skillfully interpreted comedy revealing the fragility of middle-class mores. Discovering cracks in other relationships is Everyone is welcome, a romantic comedy about couples therapy that the team wrote themselves. The show will premiere in autumn 2022 at Perdu in central Amsterdam.
Happy for ever the productions
New to the scene, this musical theater group has been bringing great belt harmonies to small theater spaces since 2020. Founded by Sara from the United States and Dominika from Poland to address the shortage of English-language musical theater in Amsterdam, the international company puts on about three shows per year. Previous productions include the Little shop of horrors, where a live band and 14 cast members filled the stage. With Avenue Q In February 2022, the team will push the boundaries even further when a group of puppets join in the fun.
Orange Theater Company
From a new Brexit play written by the company’s own members to known hits such as Art, the Orange Theater Company continues to surprise its typically half-Dutch, half-international audience. There’s a next move to musical theater on the agenda when a poignant love story The last five years premieres in December at the Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis.
This former bathhouse in Amsterdam Oost, with its lively program of cultural offerings – often in English – is celebrating its centenary later this year. The English-language amateur theater on the site ranges from classics of British comedy such as ‘Hello? Hello! and Black viper to a staged interpretation of the radio play by Dylan Thomas Milk Undergrowth. Shakespeare’s parodies and improvisation nights add to the mix.
STET organizes a program of performances in The Hague by professional English-speaking theater artists from all over the world. Emerging and established acts are selected for inclusiveness and diversity, and most shows are accompanied by a Dutch sign language interpreter. There are children’s productions, an annual dose of Shakespeare, and original contemporary plays such as the upcoming Burgerz, a critically acclaimed exploration of transphobia by Travis Alablanza.
The Anglo-American theater company
You don’t have to go to the UK for a traditional British pantomime, as the AATG cracks a huge cast every year on stage for a cheerful retelling of a well-known fairy tale. In 2022, it will be The Sleeping Beauty at Warenar in Wassenaar. One-act plays, musical sketches and Shakespearean dramas are also on the program of this amateur theater troupe, which dates back to the 1960s.
The English theater in Leiden
Originally founded to give first year students in Leiden a taste of English theater, LET still has a youthful atmosphere with a cast of students, graduates and young professionals taking the stage. Previous productions include Dracula, Gatsby the magnificent, and an adaptation of Orwell 1984, interspersed with a bit of Shakespeare. Tickets for thriller And then there was none on sale soon.
Rotterdam English Theater
An offshoot of LET, where the founders first walked the stage as students, REST has been providing Rotterdam audiences with English-language theater for nearly a decade. Comedies and thrillers make up the bulk of the billing, with an emphasis on intense situations rather than elaborate costumes and sets. Murder Mystery Retirement opens at Theater ‘t Kapelletje on November 12.
English Theater of Utrecht
When the curtain rose on a popular production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Utrecht in 2017, international actors couldn’t bear to part ways and founded ETU, a Utrecht-based amateur theater company. With Shakespeare under their belt, the company continued to make ambitious production choices, such as an adaptation of Jane Austin Pride and Prejudice which took place in 2018, and Flight over a cuckoo’s nest, an intense exploration of psychiatric internment, which opens in Vleuten in February 2022.
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