Lots of UK shows for Dutch youth theater
Jetse Batelaan, director of Theater Artemis, is back in the UK. Barely two weeks after youth theatre group Theater Artemis performed ‘War’ at the Belfast Children’s Festival, Batelaan is placed at the Unicorn Theatre in London for two weeks. He is working with a group of British actors that will be performing his theatre production ‘The Show In Which Hopefully Nothing Happens’ at the Unicorn Theatre. This fascinating show, written for children between 6 and 10 years old, will be performed 45 times between 21 March and 28 April.
Silver Lion Winner at Venice Biennale
Batelaan is a very big name in youth theatre. He is the first ever youth theatre producer in the world to win a Silver Lion Award at the Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia). Theater Artemis’ star is also rising fast internationally; almost half of its performances in 2018 were outside the Netherlands. “Usually, our own actors perform the play in all these countries. They learn their lines in the local language”, Batelaan explains. “Only recently have we started to sell remakes in other countries, where the theatre buys our production and performs the show with local actors. We have done so in Germany once and are now doing it, for the first time, in the UK too.”
Next up: Edinburgh International Children’s Festival
The new approach (of working with local actors) doesn’t mean the end of touring with an all Dutch cast for Theater Artemis. Far from it. Batelaan says: “We are only working on remakes with older shows, which we are not performing much anymore; all new work is done with our own actors.” The Show In Which Hopefully Nothing Happens was Batelaan's first-ever production, twelve years ago.
Theater Artemis will soon be back in the UK for a third time this year. The show ‘The Invisible Man’ has been booked for the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, from 30 May to 2 June 2019. This is an English-language performance by a fully Dutch cast.