Exciting times for English speaking creative arts

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As the International literature Festival is about to take off, don’t forget there are other activities available to the culture lover in Utrecht.

The English Theatre of Utrecht is an amateur theatre initiative that brings English productions to the stage in Utrecht and concentrates on making them fun and accessible. The Theatre makes it their mission to connect everyone in Utrecht be they local or international residents of and share their passion for theatre. It all started in 2017, when an multi cultural group of actors was cast for a modern-language version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Utrecht’s Cultural Centre Parnassos. They worked so well together, and the play was so well-received by the audiences that everyone decided that they wanted to carry on! So the group connect with each other and with English-speaking theatre lovers in Utrecht to produce performances that all will enjoy. Even though the English Theatre of Utrecht are only in their second year they have already had great success including h a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, performed at the Theaterhuis De Berenkuil, which sold out. We can all look forward to their next production will be Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, which will open in February 2019.

Whilst the English Theatre are relatively new, Theater Kikker (the ‘Frog Theatre’) go back to 1972, when members of the Utrechtsch Studenten Corps student association started a small theatre group. They named the theatre after the initiation ritual that used to take place in the same spot: New students had to leap like frogs through the pub before they were officially admitted into the association. Unusual, but harmless! As they say, the theatre group was able to make giant leaps forward thanks in a large way to subsidies from the Utrecht local authorities. In 1980 they transferred to their current home on Ganzenmarkt. Theater Kikker has grown into an important venue for contemporary theatre, modern dance and youth theatre.

The theatre leans towards more experimental works and often stages plays in English, such as their recent English adaptation of Ionesco’s Amédée.

Image description: A performance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre: This engraving was published as Plate 69 of Microcosm of London (1810)

Image credit: By Figures: Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827); Architecture: Augustus Charles Pugin (1762–1832), Aquatint: John Bluck (fl. 1791–1819) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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