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The Language Caravan at Simmerdeis Drachten.

After Oerol, the Language Caravan will return to the mainland, and head for Drachten. More specifically, the Simmerdeis festival from 28 June to 1 July when Smallingerland is overrun with theatre, music and special encounters over four days. Various locations will be offering activities and performances for all ages, with Slinge Park the cosy and sustainable heart of the festival.

The Language Caravan during Simmerdeis:

Tongen (Tongues)
The performance ‘Tongen’ starts in Malawi, where writer/narrator Nyk de Vries visits a church and suddenly hears himself speaking in tongues. He chatters in a strange mishmash of Frisian and other languages, in the distant land of sand paths and wooden electricity poles. Strangely enough, it reminds him of Zwaagwesteinde, the Westereen; his mother’s village. ‘Tongen’ is all about the treacherous power of being homesick. Far from home, you suddenly cling to language and habits that were previously unimportant to you. In the performance, Nyk sings and recites while sampling film and music, He is a master in building up tension from seemingly insignificant forgotten events. An all-enveloping experience.
On 29 and 30 June

Solo
The North Netherlands Orquestra is one of the most famous symphony orchestras in the Netherlands. Its musicians come from all over the world, with almost fifteen nationalities and as many languages in its ranks. Normally, a symphony is created between these musicians, but ‘Solo’ does the opposite and focuses on the individual. The idea is to show who actually plays in an orchestra. This time, musicians from Japan, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, France and England leave their instruments, and each tells their personal story in a short solo. The piece was written by three talented writers, and is directed by theatre makers Skoft & Skiep.
On June 30

Editorial room
During UITfestival 2017, Frisian literary magazine De Moanne created an editorial room in the Prinsentuin in Leeuwarden. It was so successful, it demands a sequel! The idea is simple: about fifteen old typewriters in a simple, cosy setting. Visitors of all ages are invited to write a text, with the support of experienced writers and poets. We will be publishing the results online!
Present throughout the festival

Relaxerette (6+)
The Relaxerette, by artist Arjan Kruidhof, is a revolving installation that gives you a whole new perspective. You lie in a hammock and look up at the clouds. Then you put on your headphones, and close your eyes while listening to stories and sounds that will totally absorb you. You can choose the swirling vocabulary of Marc van der Holst, the melancholy of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, or one of the other stories written by Jamila Faber, Heksenhamer or Pieter van der Sman. Jolle Roelofs has made a special soundscape for the Relaxerette that will take you away from this overcrowded world.
Present throughout the festival

Laitrum Theater – Microshakespeare
A British festival production that is hard to describe, but you simply have to experience. In five ‘puppet cabinets’, five pieces by Shakespeare are combined into 8-minute performances that are performed by members of the audience. They are instructed on how to move things via an earpiece. Unique Shakespeare interpretations are brought to life for the audience who are also given headphones. Full of humour, love, death and revenge. Respect!
On 29 and 30 June

Homsk – Us Buorman Yn Tallinn
In the summer of 2017, theatre makers Eelco Venema and Lourens van den Akker travelled in an old Catalan ambulance to Tallinn in Estonia in search of the European dream. In Simmerdeis, climb aboard the same ambulance and ‘join’ Eelco and Lourens on their journey! You’ll experience film images, texts in several languages, visuals by video artist Frouke ten Velden and music by Hilbrandt all at a rapid tempo. This journey will get your brain in top gear. What does it actually mean for you to be European?
Theatrical video installation, duration: approx. 20 min., present throughout the festival

Hilbrandt (music)
Hilbrandt makes music about the dark side of ambition. Hilbrandt’s songs take place on a motorway, where we always want to go faster and do everything possible to overtake each other. We live in a world of burn-outs, sleep deprivation, stress and fleeting friendships, themes summarised by Hilbrandt with horns. He and his sextet band turn everything into a roaring, danceable live show with a heavy dose of synthesized sounds. It’s as if Spinvis, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West and Arcade Fire were thrown together in the melting pot. Hilbrandt is the pumping soundtrack for a world that is not always fun.
Show on 29 June

Meindert Talma – Je denkt dat het komt (You think it’s coming)
In late 2017, Meindert Talma launched his CD-in-a-book Je denkt dat het komt. This is the second part of the novel-album cycle of the Netherland’s Least Known Pop Star and successor to Kelderkoorts from 2013. The live performance of ‘You think it’s coming’ is an immersive audio-visual journey that draws you into a sung and spoken film story about the first, formative breakthrough years (1997-2001) of a slightly offbeat outsider musician and writer from the northern Netherlands. The following will accompany Meindert Talma on stage: Jan Pier Brands (guitar & vocals), Janke Brands (bass), Herman Grimme (piano & vocals) and Johan Kooi (drums & vocals). ‘Trouw’ described the album as: “Ceaselessly fascinating and totally unique” ****
Show on 29 June

And more:
The Iepen Up DING will also be travelling with the Language Caravan to Drachten on June 29. This installation in the form of a giant ear is looking for stories, opinions and anecdotes for the world of the future. Climb inside, and leave your message.

More information and tickets
For more information about Simmerdeis, please visit the festival website.

More information



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