Actually, that’s often the case with dancers as well. Someone who looks an incredibly big and muscular man on stage sometimes turns out to be much smaller, younger and wirier when you see him in the corridors of the Music Theatre. Theatre is illusion! However, there is little illusion in hospitality and style, which are things you can’t suggest and are always real and authentic. And DeLaMar is oozing hospitality and style. It really inspired me, and I’m resolved to getting down once again to the plans for the Music Theatre that have been lying around for a while. New furniture, for instance, as well as more ladies’ toilets and more theatre atmosphere in the box office area. All these things are well in place in the new theatre on the Marnixstraat.
Whether the programming is also up to scratch remains to be seen. Another two theatres to fill and 400,000 tickets to be sold each year – then your programmes have to be distinctive from those of the neighbouring Stadsschouwburg, for instance. We’ll see. The fact of the matter is that the competition has increased greatly in one fell swoop. For us too! But for the time being, The Sleeping Beauty is feeling no ill effects. Ticket sales are well on the way to our goal of 98% houses.
That’s a load off my mind, as every year a large part of our takings has to come from those performances in December. And actually that’s exactly how it used to be in the past in the supermarket where I worked as a secondary school pupil. Round Christmas time, we had to work our socks off. While one half of the country relaxes and has fun over the festive period, the other half is working more or less round the clock. We belong to the latter half. If you have a look in our studios, you’ll see that sparks are flying. Sir Peter Wright, the choreographer of our Beauty has arrived. This noble Englishman is well into his eighties and has stiffened up a bit now, but there’s nothing wrong with his eagle eye. And if this man declares that rehearsals are going well, we can say with satisfaction that we’re well on the way to achieving our goal in this area as well.
I watched in the studio for a little while and I was struck by how concentrated and yet how relaxed everyone appeared in their work. China has given the whole company good vibes – and that is apparent! In short, everything points towards yet another success. And, dear reader... there are still but few tickets available!