For my birthday this year, Martin proposed that we take a trip to Amsterdam for a meal in old haunts (O Sole Mio – we’ve been going there for the best part of 25 years), and to see the new production of La Cage Aux Folles in a brand new theatre, the De La Mar.
So yesterday, we put the dogs in kennels for the night (the first time that we had done that) and headed off to Amsterdam. I spent the afternoon trolling the bookshops, while Martin bought a new suit.
In the bookshops I found a biography of Charles Laughton, a book about the influence of Alexander van Humboldt on the roots of American Environmentalism, a Journey Through Trees, and two books that included work by Erwin Olaf.
It was particularly apposite to find the book of the De La Mar Photo Collection, which includes Olaf’s work, since that same evening we were able to see the full-scale photos featured in the book in the theatre itself. They are stunning images, and show Olaf at the peak of his form.
The theatre, although newly rebuilt from the foundations up, occupies the site of an older theatre, with the same name, and a cinema. The new building is stunning, and already looks set to be a real jewel in the crown of Amsterdam’s cultural life.
The production of La Cage was excellent. I have to say that I sometimes have reservations about Dutch versions of well-known theatre pieces. Dutch, shall we say, is not the most musical of languages; but this worked triumphantly. Much of it was down to a brilliant cast, led by Jon van Eerd as Albin and Stanley Burleson as Georges.
The dogs were also completely satisfied by the facilities of the kennels (Dierenpensioen Adelheid), so I think that this was a pointer to future cultural journeys to the capital.