“Soldier of Orange” is the longest-running Dutch musical, attracted 2.7 million visitors, is more than 2,500 times increased and is again extended. What speaks to the public as in the story of a resistance fighter Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema?
On 30 October 2010, Soldier of Orange premiered in the Theatre in the City. In contrast to the Circustheater in Scheveningen or the Carré in Amsterdam, this theatre is not in a big city, but in a quiet coastal town on the former military airfield Valkenburg.
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“When we were eight years ago in Katwijk started, they declared us crazy,” says Fred Boot, producer of Soldier of Orange. Musicalverslaggever Rob de Haan recalls the first persopvoering of Soldier of Orange, and how risky the location was. “That was a big step. The producers did a huge investment.”
An investment that is well extracted: 1.103 chairs in the room are years later, still almost every day busy. Boat: “We tell a oorlogsverhaal in unorthodox ways, with a rotating theater, projection, buitenscènes and in an authentic location”, light Boat. “The contemporary audience to experience theatre in a different way.”
This vision shares the Boat with the other Soldier of Orange-producer Robin de Levita. In an interview with the Volkskrant says The Levita: “My problem with musicals is that they are often so traditional; a high note and get, a dance, fun children. The experience has repeated itself, it is too predictable.” A visit to “Soldier of Orange” with all its fury, and layering is then a very different night out. “Here come the people,” he says.
Visitors come back often
According to the CBS visited approximately 2.6 million people in the netherlands, a music theatre production in 2016. Soldier of Orange drew up to now a total of 2.7 million visitors. In eight years built up the musical a loyal fanschare; 30 to 35 percent of the visitors came back.
In other musicals, the percentage of terugkomers usually 5 to 10 percent, you know, a spokesman for Soldier of Orange. “But you must keep in mind that musicals are not as long term as a Soldier of Orange.”
One of the frequently returning visitors is musicalfan Scot Brown Pilkes. He is fourteen times to Soldier of Orange. “Most musicals are really polished or have a weak message. Soldier of Orange is different. The players are not ‘too good’, but ordinary people like you and me. The message and the call to action-feeling. After fourteen times, I still have my eyes dab.”
Also Boot stressed the importance of the message. “It is us only, but to do to the story of Erik Hazelhoff. We extend not to prizes and awards. This story is part of our collective history.” Soldier of Orange is the true story of the Leiden student Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, who during the Second world War joined the resistance, but old friends saw drifting in the direction of the nazis.
The story is recognizable
The story is still current, will find The Rooster. “Erik Hazelhoff and his friends had to be extreme to make choices and consider whether they be good or bad. Still we have our lives difficult trade-offs. That take people out of the show.”
Tentative plays “Soldier of Orange” so. “We should be as good as possible to convey what happened in the Second world War happened”, a decision Boat. Currently working theaterproductiebedrijf New Productions, also Soldier of Orange”, a new show about the history of New York. But where that should go play, is not yet known.