Twelve Dutch theatre companies for young audiences presented their work at international festival Gavroche last month. With the support of Dutch Performing Arts the festival programmed an unprecendented number of Dutch productions for ages 2 and up.
Actress Janice Slot, Het Houten Huis:
"The response was quite overwhelming. People kept applauding and shouting ‘Bravo!’. We had to come back multiple times to take a bow. People wanted to take pictures, give hugs. There were even a few tears. We invited the kids in the audience to write a letter to one of the characters. So far we received 300 letters! With the help of a Russian interpreter we will respond to each of them with a personal letter posted from the Netherlands."
The audience admires the stage set of 'Muziek van beneden'. Photo: Het Houten Huis
Erin Coppens, dramaturg and head of the international department at Oorkaan:
“It was amazing to be part of festival Gavroche for the second time, this time with our production 'Glimpse'. The Russian toddlers were just as receptive to Glimpse's music and images as those in other countries where we put on the show. We got some great responses from the toddlers and their parents. It was a real pleasure to work together with the hard-working team of Gavroche. We'll treasure the valuable experiences we had in Russia as 'Glimpse' goes on to China, Malta, Washington and Hong Kong this season."
The cast of 'Glimpse' at Mossovet Theatre. Photo: Oorkaan
Ramses Graus, part of the artistic team of Het Filiaal theatermakers:
"Playing in Moscow was a great experience. The festival and the audience gave us an incredibly warm welcome. Noël van Santen gave out lots of autographs and posed for many a picture after the show."
Actor Noël van Santen and Ramses Graus on Moscow's Red Square. Photo: Het Filiaal theatermakers
Meike van den Akker, De Witte Pomp:
"It was an extraordinary adventure: the first performance of a new theatre company. Performed in Russia, in Russian! Our efforts to master the show's text in Russian were greatly appreciated by the interpreter and the theatrical technicians of the MOST Theatre. Their directions on the sss-sounds from between the teeth and the shhh-sounds from the lower jaw were most helpful. The language of music and puppets proved to be universal as children piled onto the stage after the show: to play with clay, sit behind the drum kit, or to give us a hug."
Part of the cast and crew of 'Blootpad'. Photo: De Witte Pomp
“It was incredible to be invited to perform our production 'GET 'M' in Moscow. As we did parts of the show in Russian, it was fun to see the praiseful and excited responses from the Russian audience. Playing in both the Mossovet Theatre and a hospital was a memorable experience, one we will cherish for a long time."
Daan Mathot, volDaan:
"Gravoche was amazing! And their team was incredible. The audience was very eager and they thoroughly enjoyed the show. Best part for me was that my show 'Deep' was het first to be performed for an audience of pupils, which turned out to be a very diverse and super excited crowd."
Excited children after the performance of 'Deep'. Photo: volDaan
"Here's the cast of Theater Artemis in front of the Theatrium Na Serpukhov in Moscow: the theatre where they would perform the show 'War' in Russian that evening for a captivated audience of children and their families."
The cast of 'War' in front of the Theatrium Na Serpukhov. Photo: Theater Artemis
Ulrike Söbbeke, business director of HNTjong:
"Two days, five performances, 1,000 visitors. While some of the other companies were dealing with technical difficulties, we were in a smaller (and technically less challenging) theatre with a great crew. All communications had to go through our interpreter. But that's also how we learnt 'it works' translates to 'это работает' in Russian, which is pronounced sort of the same as our show's title 'Robotje'."
Part of Robotje's cast and crew at Moscow's Red Square. Photo: HNTjong
Actress Noah Blindenburg, TG Proest:
"Being in Moscow was very special, I was lucky enough to be able to play in two different productions: 'Martin Luther King' and 'Gewoon, ik'. Performing my own show 'Gewoon, ik' by TG Proest was extra special, because it tells a personal story. By playing in Moscow I realised again that no matter how personal a story is, it always has a universal appeal. This led to beautiful conversations as a result of the performance. I also met a lot of inspiring people. I will cherish my memories of the Gavroche festival for a long time!"
Lotte Middendorp and Noah Blindenburg of TG Proest. Photo: TG Proest
And here's a few snapshots of some of the other companies:
The cast and crew of 'Hello Family'. Photo: Maas theater en dans
Two Russian interpreters for the live translation of 'Martin Luther King'. Photo: Urban Myth