Home » FringeReview Amsterdam

FringeReview Amsterdam

 Image result for amsterdam fringe 2017

7th- 17th September 2017


Welcome to our coverage of Amsterdam Fringe Festival. Experimental, bold and diverse, there is a wide variety of work on offer this year and we are delighted to be covering this Fringe once again.

Essential Links

Browse the programme 

NEW! Our interviews with Fringe show makers. (from 2015-2016)

Book tickets

Find a venue

Are you performing at Amsterdam Fringe? Send us an interview. Or an EPostcard.

Looking for Free Fringe Amsterdam? Our coverage is here.

Amsterdam Fringe on Social Media

I want to see… at Amsterdam Fringe

IMG_8098 2

Here’s our unique guide to help you find a show to see at Amsterdam Fringe. We’ve pulled out the popular, the weird and the eclectic. So, scan down and get booking!

I want to see…

… music and theatre performance about love and loss with music from the past and present. Then see O Heavy Time

… mix of live mind reading, music and hypnosis. Then see Mindgames

… a physical theatre performance that revolves around the theme of wanting to belong somewhere and with someone, and the (in)ability to fit in. Then see Osmosis

… a unique solo performance, in an interactive installation. Then see Pierrot Lunaire 2.01

… an interdisciplinary performance with live music, poetry and contemporary sance. Then see We Are the Everlasting Guests

… some circus theatre. Then see Not Somewhere Else

… Bleach is a soul-jolting new one man show about sex, violence and city living. Then see Bleach

… a dynamic dance performance in which The Ego balances between demigod and fallen winner. Then see The Winner Takes it All

… a  a radical feminist who sings dirty rapsongs. Then see Send Me Dick Pics

… some acclaimed storytelling theatre. Then see My Father Held A Gun

… punk. Then see Club Club Gewalt 5.0 Punk

…  some physical theatre – a show about a legendary figure, an artist who in his lasts moments looks back at his turbulent life thinking “what’s it all worth?”. Then see The Story of John Crow

…  a hear-play in episodes and needs you to bring it to life. (rewrites Dostojevski’s novel) Come read along and create your own character. Then see The Karamazovs

… some theatre, a seminar on the history of horror cinema. Then see CINEBRA: A History of Horror

… a dance movement piece inspired by the poem ‘Lament’ by Herman Hesse. Then see We are the Everlasting Guests

… a piece exploring the interaction between man and machine. Then see Neophilus

… a dark, humorous solo performance reconstructs a personal view on what it’s like to keep someone really close. Based on a true story. Then see My Dinner With You

… five synchronized swimmers, dance, music, text and visuals. Then see In Line

Link Collage

A new way to explore Amsterdam Fringe – our essential links to navigate the Fringe… Simply click on an image to reveal details of a recommended show. Follow your artistic instincts…

CTF_Mounir Chadli_f1 13b kopie Paper Twists 5-min

PierrotLunaire2.0.2 Chris Koolmees IMG_0209 British theater exists bleach

FLOORSMALL  Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 11.55.20

Keyword Chaos


Here’s another way to find a show at Amsterdam Fringe.

We’ve trawled the programme and our own knowledge base and selected the most intriguing phrases in programme line up. So, choose the phrase that draws you in, click on the link and get booking. Use your intuition…

a rollercoaster of different celebrations, in which the fear of being forgotten tries to overrule.

Three paper-made characters attempt to find their way between familiar, ordinary necessities and playful liberated fun. A glance at this renewed basic material Suddenly brings about the joy of the small simple moments of life.”

Awakening your senses by their intuitive responses, they guide you through contrasting situations in their existential expedition.”

A multimedia frenzy featuring live scares and unforgettable songs, this unique hybrid horror musical comedy will leave you convulsing in terror and delight!

Liberté, Egalité, Beyoncé: Because everyone deserves to be Bey.

Unscripted, unsettling, dynamic and constantly evolving. Do you want to come and play?

Colourful insights reveal the physical and emotional sensations of living with Trichotillomania, a Body-Focussed Repetitive Behaviour. The work exposes what it means to fail for perfection against glittering hope.”

Time. One voice. Four recorders. And a weight that drags you down.

an exploration of the materiality of sound. Over the course of 60 minutes we will disassemble a cello while it is being played, exposing both the physical instrument and the source and structure of its sound. This brutal and at times violent process is accompanied by a performed text – a reflection on the circumstances and an investigation into the mythical aura of the cello.

The inspectors A and B investigate the disparition of C, scientific seen the last time in Amsterdam. C was sent by a independant environmental agency about how to ride a bicycle, and his presence there seemed not welcome. Through this banal research A and B will discover “behind the scenes” of a huge organisation lead by D…


Director Jason Gwen talks about Comfort Girls

What’s the theme of your show?

A spotlight on the over 5 million people that has been human trafficked the past 15 years.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The work is being presented as a pop-up bar installation that lasts for 4 hours per performance day. The bar is FREE to be visited throughout the whole tour, but when the audience member orders a special beer with us, he/she will get to experience a second bar reality.

How did the show come into being?

With the director acting in Hello Baby & Guilty Landscapes by Dutch director Dries Verhoeven, Jason Gwen came in direct contact with the work pattern of a prostitute, translated into a video-installation. With his own background from Vietnam and the karaoke om bars phenomenon in Vietnam, Jason wanted to offer a new bar reality. Where the girls working in the bar can offer the customer the intimacy -without having to do the sexual deed.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

The actress keeps blocking herself in the same scenes and was emotional throughout the whole rehearsal process. Even though she never worked as a prostitute, she understands the idea of selling the body, with men directly watching her for sexual pleasure. And slowly but surely learning how to show the contrast to the human body as an object, and learning to say no, is no.

How is the show developing?

We’ve just had four try-outs in Arnhem during the Sonsbeek Theater Avenue. A city in the eastern part of the Netherlands. After 2 days, we were the most talked about performance of the over 50 programmed work. A lot of people questioned if this was a performance or real, while we were clearly a part of the program. With mothers buying beers for her 16 year old son, couples fighting over the man enjoying the treatment during the beer consumption, and adolescent boys surroung the actress, with the actress feeling powerless in her own bar.

How has the writer been involved?

During the rehearsal process the director asked the actors to improvise with words describing the work pattern, and the emotional reaction to the pattern. And at the end of the rehearsal process the actors write out a set part of the improvisations, edited by the director.

How have you experimented?

We fully used the try-outs in ARNHEM as the experiment. The work finally came to life, when the different people walked into the bar, finding out what works to sell the beer, the feeling of having a joyess party, the pressure during the payment, the continuous extension of the comfort zone when the actors touch them, and the wait for them to finally say no. And eventually for them to see the details hidden within the installation showing the context about human trafficking.

Where do your ideas come from?

From sitting at the red light district in Amsterdam, actually taking the time to look at the women working behind the windows. Their work pattern, their choice of appearance, movements and communication with potential clients. The setting of karaoke om bars of Vietnam, and the numbers of COMENSHA, part of LA STRADA, a ngo fighting human trafficking in 8 European countries.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

This season the director has really focused on selling one image, and let them experience completely another when they have entered the bar and activated the concept. Finding ways to bring the most difficult subjects to the everyday man, and let them understand the reality, and hopefully activate them to jump on the awareness wagon, and make the change.

What are your future plans for the show ?

The work will be previewing this weekend at the UITMARKT in Amsterdam, 2 days where all companies from Amsterdam gives previews for free to the public.
From September 7-10 + 12-15 the work can be seen in Theater Oostblok in Amsterdam, during the AMSTERDAMFRINGE FESTIVAL with the premiere being held on Friday September 8. Every day from 6-11pm.
The work will have it’s international premiere in October in Hamburg, Germany at Das Letzte Kleinod in a train wagon.
To eventually open CLUB ASIA in Vietnam and the rest of Asia, offering a new form of intimacy during leisure time.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Jason is personally curious about I FEEL DIRTY ANYWAYS because of the mutual interest in bringing awareness to women but also men and children to learn to say no is no.

Show dates, times and booking info: www.JASONgwen.com

Book here

Company web site: http://www.JASONgwen.com


Emily Sitch from Balloons Theatre talks about The Rules of Inflation


What’s the theme of your show?

Our piece mainly revolves around the theme of kidnapping, and explores the idea of power and control in a confined space. Our work is also heavily influenced by female objectification, LGBQT+ and the politics of society and what they mean in the world today.

What’s new or unique about the show?

We are a highly physical devised theatre company. We tell our story through the medium of music, song and dance and video, as well as using food, glitter and over 300 balloons, in each performance! Many sections of our show are improvised, so it can be different every night. Right at the end of our show, we turn to our audience and ask them to decide how our story should end. Our show is often classed as a Performance Art Piece due it’s it’s highly symbolistic and controversial nature.

How did the show come into being?

The 5 of us (an Austrailian, 3 Englishman and a Polishman) met whilst training in London, and out of that Balloons Theatre was born! Our show has now been in development for the past 2 years and we have toured it across Europe!

Describe one of your rehearsals.

In order to create new material, our rehearsals mainly consist of improvisation and ‘play.’ Our idea originally came from being made to play party games, so we would usually begin with a game and see where it takes us. Often very messy, we ensure we use Balloons and food in our rehearsals, as these 2 textures are integral to our piece. We use Lecoq’s scoring system to record our work, and then use it to work out what order things should happen in.

How is the show developing?

As a devised theatre ensemble, our show has now been in development for the past 2 years. After each run, we re-work our show to keep it fresh and current, particularly considering the ever-changing political climate, we believe it’s important to constantly self-reflect and evolve. We constantly devise new material to add, and take away anything that feels stale.

How has the writer been involved?

Due to the nature of devised work, we all have an equal input into the narrative of our show. Between the 5 of us, we all have such different backgrounds and skill sets, we work really closely as a well oiled devising machine.
(we all happen to be best friends too which makes things a lot easier!)

How have you experimented?

Because we do not have a director, we believe it’s really important to constantly have ‘other’ eyes on our work, to ensure we are not becoming to internalized. We have had several test audiences and dramaturgs come in to watch our work to give feedback on what does and doesn’t work. We use these sessions as opportunities to share some of our most experimental and shocking ideas in order to get constructive feedback on them.

Where do your ideas come from?

Believe it or not, our original idea came from when we found a popped party balloon on the floor in East London. We found it such an amazing and visceral object to work from as it has SO much potential for story telling, both from the literal object of a popped balloon and symbolism of it. Aside from this original stimulus, we have used true stories of kidnapping in order to influence the characters in this particular version of our show.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

We are constantly looking for ways of making our piece as fresh and bold as it can be. Due to the shocking nature of our work, it’s always a challenge to share our stories in new and different ways – for example through an 80’s pop song or through a piece of clowning. We thrive to make our audiences come out of our show asking questions to spark up a debate about our topic and theatrical style. We love the fact that people find it challenging to watch our work.

What are your future plans for the show ?

We have loved touring our show across Europe – we did Prague Fringe in June, are coming to Amsterdam in September and hope to continue onto other Fringe Festivals across Europe or potentially even across the pond!

What are your favourite shows, and why?

We adore anything that comes from an international background. We are inspired by the work of companies such as Complicite, Shunt and Punch Drunk to name a few. Immersive and highly physical work is something we really admire. We love to be challenged but equally really appreciate anything that is beautiful aesthetically.

Show dates, times and booking info: 7 & 10 September @ 20.30
8 & 11 September @ 18.00
at The Polanentheater

Grab Tickets at: http://amsterdamfringefestival.nl/en/programma/the-rules-of-inflation/
Company web site: http://www.balloonstheatre.co.uk


Actor & Producer, Loveday Smith talks about Everything (Planet Everything)

P5250614 (2)

What’s the theme of your show?

They came from Planet EVERYTHING .
All they needed was a spare part.
All they wanted was one thing from our planet of multiple things.
Now they’re stuck on Earth …
stuck in human form …
and stuck with eachother.
Just another day at the office?

This absurd comedy about 3 extra terrestrials who come to Earth is about identity, about fitting in. It’s about assimilation. How much of yourself do you sacrifice to accommodate other people?

What’s new or unique about the show?

This is the first time this play, by brilliant Dutch writer Esther Gerritsen, has been performed in English.

I commissioned one of our company members, Jip Loots, to translate the play into English because I felt it would really appeal to an International audience. Esther’s word play is Dutch writing at its finest and Jip has retained that in the English version. He’s captured the craziness of the original script and not lost its essential “Dutchness”.

How did the show come into being?

Jip and I were working on the opening monologue from the play which he’d translated for “Orange Slices”, a monologues evening that Orange Tea were putting on.

I thought it was hilarious, ridiculous and brilliant and suggested he translate the whole thing. After a tryout performance, we decided to submit to the Amsterdam Fringe.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Lots of swearing and wheeling about on wheelie chairs.

The aliens land in a bizarre office environment so of course we get wheelie chairs! Everybody becomes 5 years old when wheelie chairs are involved.

The swearing comes in when one of us can’t remember a line. There is lots of dialogue and it’s all very fast. Bugger and bollocks are my own favourites. The Dutch cast members have their own unique swear words that are unprintable.

How is the show developing?

It’s brilliant. We’ve gone from a very small scale tryout to rehearsing for a much larger theatre. We were beset with difficulties in rehearsals for the tryout. 2 cast members dropped out and had to be replaced so it was all a bit frantic. However, now we have our team so we’re working more intensively on character and motivations; we get new insights into the show on a daily basis!

How has the writer been involved?

Esther Gerritsen, the original author, is coming to meet us when she’s back from holiday.
We’re all a bit terrified, especially Jip, who translated it!
She’s coming to see the show, so I really hope she likes our interpretation.
The one question I have for her is: “Is The Human actually another alien who’s forgotten why she’s there?”
I say she is, Jip, the translator, is adamant that she isn’t. Let’s hope Esther knows!

How have you experimented?

We went through a phase of being very very odd at the beginning of the play, as the aliens got used to their human forms. There were some very strange physicalisations.

We also had this idea that they actually kind of all merge into one being and it got very touchy-feely for a while but that’s gone now too.

At the end of the day, it’s about the dialogue and if there’s too much extraneous physical stuff it’s too distracting.

Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere. It’s a very egalitarian rehearsal room, everybody’s contribution is valued.  Obviously Patrick the director has the final say, but we all bring our ideas to the table.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

This is without doubt the most challenging play I have ever done, and I’ve been in the business over 25 years.

It’s crazy, it’s fast, it’s clever and it’s absurd. You have to immerse yourself in that world and wrap your head around the words. The play itself challenges us, we don’t have to do anything!

What are your future plans for the show ?

After the Fringe I would love to tour it to some other Dutch cities. Den Haag and Leiden spring to mind as they have big expat communities. Esther Gerritsen is a very popular writer over here and I think the show will do well.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

I like a huge range of stuff. The Amsterdam Fringe Festival is great for that as it’s like theatrical tapas. You can go round sampling bits of everything.

There’s a company over here called “Golden Palace” and everything they do is amazing. What I love best about theatre in Amsterdam as opposed to London is that it’s more experimental. There’s a strong ART influence too. I love going to the theatre and being surprised and Golden Palace always manages that.

Show dates, times and booking info: POLANEN THEATER Polanenstraat 174, 1013 Amsterdam

13 Sep 18:30
14 Sep 21:30
15 Sep 17:30
17 Sep 19:00

Book here

Company web site: http://orangeteatheatre.com

PREVIEW – British Exist Theatre bring Bleach to the Amsterdam Fringe

IMG_0209 British theater exists bleach

“A soul-jolting new one man show about sex, violence and City living.”

Bleach is “a brand new one man show, written and performed by Dan Ireland-Reeves.”

What’s Bleach about?

When a misguided rent boy finds himself taking the starring role in a snuff film, he’s forced to question whether living in London is really worth the cost of rent. Bleach is a visceral and moving story reflecting a generations struggle to stay afloat in a city of unreachable deposits and zero hour contracts. When Tyler Everett’s job at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant falls through and the love of his life walks out on him, he does whatever he can to make ends meet. Follow his journey from small town boy to big time fuck-up in this high octane production.

About the company

British Exist Theatre is a young, dynamic and exciting company made up of trained industry professionals. After graduating drama school the company decided to put their skills into practice and produce work that they have full creative control of. This bought many different skills to the table and allowed British Exist Theatre to develop truly unique and original work.

Bleach has already enjoyed critically acclaimed runs in London, Dublin, Manchester and Edinburgh and received the Write for the Stage award for Best New Writing at the Manchester Fringe.

Written by: Dan Ireland-Reeves
Directed by: Bethan Francis
Poster/Set Design: Dan Ireland-Reeves

Show Details

Venue: Compagnietheater, Amsterdam


7th September 2017 19:30
8th September 2017 21:45
9th September 2017 18:30
10th September 2017 20:30

Postcard from Amsterdam Fringe

Just received from Emma Buysse…










A YouTube romance…

Suzy Lee and Romeo55 meet each other on YouTube. She is a radically feminist who sings dirty rapsongs. He is her biggest fan and sends her mawkish serenades. Are these star-crossed lovers capable of making true love?
A musictheatreperformance with fake feminism, dirty talk and high-pitched lovesongs.

Fascinated by the way media portray men and women when it comes to love, Emma Buysse wrote this piece as a counter-message.
‘’Love is for the weak and the poor and the bored ones, who can’t spend time with themselves and need somebody to be submissive to.’’ – Suzy Lee

Watch the trailer 0n YouTube

More info (in Dutch) here

In English here

Visit her web site

News Wire

All the headlines from Amsterdam Fringe…


11 May: Amsterdam Fringe at Brighton: ‘We started out doing shows in toilets’ (The Stage)