There are theaters that shift their programming to the afternoon as much as possible, there are also those that pull the plug completely, sometimes even until January 1. The difference can often be explained by the type of programming, the difference is due to different halls.
At International Theater Amsterdam (2 large halls) they say ‘no’ to the matinee. This has to do with the specific programming in December, including the sample production Age of Rage, an expensive 3.5-hour performance with 18 performers. Director Ivo van Hove: ‘It is not financially feasible to Age of Rage only play twice in a weekend.’
A second obstacle for ITA is canceling visitors with purchased tickets, now that the hall capacity has to be reduced to one third. This will differ per theater: if the halls are not full now, then it is time to scale back. Van Hove: Our productions were almost sold out, and canceling visitors is ‘Our productions were almost sold out. People are indignant, they don’t respond, they may just come after all. That is logistically unfeasible for us. But it’s difficult, because December is always our best month.’ ITA will continue with the successful livestream program.
In Limburg, Parkstad Limburg Theaters (six stages, varying in size) says wholeheartedly to the matinee. ‘We have always played about twelve matinee performances a month, and they continue as usual’, says director Bas Schoonderwoerd. ‘With groups that are standing in the evening, we see if it makes sense to play in the afternoon. For us, the wishes of the makers and players are leading, not the amount of audience. We think it is important to offer the artists a stage.’
The advantage for Parkstad Limburg Theaters, with halls in Heerlen and Kerkrade, is the flexibility. ‘If a performance in a small hall with one-third capacity is not possible, we can move it fairly easily.’ Theater Rotterdam (4 halls) will close, and even immediately until January 1. certain figures in mid-December are promising, says director Walter Ligthart. “But we don’t expect that.” Rotterdam will also be livestreaming again.
Many pop concerts are not fully bringing standing concerts forward, and are therefore canceling and postponing again. Although a number of shows from just after the new measures have been brought forward. The Haarlem stage Het Patronaat, for example, barely managed to make a matinee of a special concert by the Indonesian band Voice of Baceprot on Sunday evening.
TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht does not focus on afternoon shows, partly to support government policy, which is aimed at fewer public movements. The National Theater in The Hague is still investigating whether and how part of the program can be played in the afternoon. There is one theater that has the right time during the day, with an evening lockdown formula avant-la-lettre: the Bellevue Lunch Theater in Amsterdam, with a performance every day.