Last week one of my theater mates proposed we went to see the “De Andere Stem”, a theater play which starting point is Jean Cocteau’s classic “La Voix Humaine”( “The Human Voice”). I am an enthusiast of classics, especially in The Netherlands, where they are always staged from a contemporary perspective. I am fond of Toneelgroep Amsterdam as well – the company resident at the Stadsschouwburg, the national theater located at Leidseplein. The stars seemed well aligned for a proper theater evening.
‘Shall I order the tickets?’, he asked. ‘Let’s wait for the Last Minute Tickets’, I replied. He was puzzled. ‘Do you know the Last Minute Ticket Shop?’. Since he didn’t, I figured some of you might not be acquainted with it either. Today I’m sharing thus one of those priceless tips for the culture junkies amongst us.
The concept is simple. Every day there are a number of tickets on offer, for different cultural and artistic events, for around half the price they usually cost. How genius is this? Moreover, almost all the renowned cultural entities take part in this system, from the Stadsschouwburg to the BimHuis, from Paradiso to the National Opera and Ballet. This makes of me a very happy chicken, an expression I borrowed from Dutch, where “blije kippen” is something to relate to people exhibiting considerable amounts of joy.
Chicken apart, we had a very well-spent evening. “De andere stem” is actually “The other voice”. The original Cocteau’s text depicts a desperate phone call of a woman to her lost love. This version brings up the other perspective, the voice on the other end of the line. I found the concept brilliant, and the text very well-written ( by the main actor himself). Afterwards we headed to the cosy Cafe de Spuyt, ‘just around the corner’, which is specialized in Belgian and Dutch beers – tip for when you find yourself at Leidseplein, panicking from fear that your only options in the neighborhood might be fake Argentinian restaurants, touristic coffeeshops and cheap sports bars.