Theatre play “Tijl Uilenspiegel” by Hugo Claus


Claus' Uilenspiegel

From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog:

7/1/05 at 10:33PM

Tonight, there was the theatre play “Tijl Uilenspiegel“.

Its author, Flemish Hugo Claus, won many literary prizes in Belgium and The Netherlands.

Its subject is the uprising in the sixteenth century in the Low Countries against the Habsburg monarchy and the Inquisition.

The main character, Tijl Uilenspiegel from Damme town in Flanders, becomes a rebel after the Spanish Inquisition burns his father at the stake.

Tijl, an intelligent fun loving jester, goes around the Low Countries joking, poking fun at princes and bishops, and fomenting rebellion together with his wife Nele and his buddy Lamme Goedzak.

Hugo Claus’ Tijl’s first show was as an open air play in 1965 in Leiden, on the Gerecht square surrounded by medieval and sixteenth century buildings including the Pieterskerk (St. Peter’s church).

The play then was on for ten nights in a row with a thousands spectators each night, so 10.000 in total. The players were students then.

This time, forty years later, it was inside the Pieterskerk. Played by most of the original cast, all forty years older.

Nelleke Noordervliet, who played the female lead character Nele both forty years ago and now, is now a well known author.

On my way to the church, two great crested grebes resting at their usual place between the pond-lily leaves, close together.

Theatre plays by Hugo ClausBefore the play started, there was a lecture by sociologist Kees Schuyt on the historical significance of the 1960s.

They have a reputation of rebelliousness and change. However, that is not true in all aspects: the COC, gay organization in The Netherlands, had to wait until 1976 before they were recognized as a legal organization.

Then, 1960s “experimental” music on piano, presented by Aukeline van Hoytema (who fell, forgetting about the steps at the stage. No serious consequences).

After a pause, the play Tijl Uilenspiegel, directed by Annemarie Prins, also director forty years ago.

The play made an excellent impression on the audience, who gave a standing ovation at the end.

Here is the e-text (in Dutch) of Charles de Coster‘s nineteenth century novel on Tijl Uilenspiegel.

7 thoughts on “Theatre play “Tijl Uilenspiegel” by Hugo Claus

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