There’s a bunch of bloody brilliant South Africans performing two plays at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival, an 11-day celebration of innovative theatre in the city of bicycles, canals, and good-looking people.
Tobacco and the Harmful Effects Thereof with Andrew Buckland and Toni Morkel directed by Sylvaine Strike, and Piet se Optelgoed starring Liezl de Kock and Lexi Meyer directed by Rob Murray, are worthy ambassadors of South African theatre and Critter is there to drink celebratory beers with them of an evening.
How Critter got to Amsterdam for the fringe festival – for the second year running – remains a small miracle. I’m not talking about the miracle of air travel but the miracle that there are people who want independent coverage of theatre and are willing to turn the gears and type the emails to make it happen, and expect nothing but honest writing in return.
Specifically, those people are National Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester and Amsterdam Fringe artistic director Anneke Jansen. Two people who move mountains (of paperwork, connections, ideas) in support of performing art and also believe the conversation that can be stimulated through writing about art is equally important.
Tony got this critter here and Anneke is taking care of food and shelter.
So until 13 September, I’ll be cycling around what is an extraordinarily inclusive and attractive city, checking out the weird, whacky and wonderful ideas the Dutch put on stage, and trying to make sense of it all.
It’s gonna be a wild ride, keep in mind it’s not a one-way street.