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Katrien van Beurden has been travelling the world for years to rediscover the Commedia dell'Arte. She founded her own international theatre company, Troupe Courage, and has travelled
from war zones in the Middle East to women's prisons, from extremely rich oil families in America with their golden toilets, to tribes in India.

Internationally, she is known for how she revived Commedia and developed a raw, moving, hyper-playful and universal style. A totally idiosyncratic version: brutal, deeply moving and highly skilled play about survival.
In 2020, Van Beurden looked her own death in the eye and decided to create her first solo performance to bring the many stories lived and collected to Dutch stages.


Spel/Concept/Tekst:  Katrien van Beurden

Muziek Remy van Kesteren

Eindregie: Titus Tiel Groenestegen

Begeleiding: Thomas van Ouwerkerk

Dramaturgie Maarten Bos

Zakelijke leiding Monique Bos

Campagnebeeld Dario & Misja Photography

"This solo is about my love of madness. I play from mask to mask, from anecdote to sudden confession. I will share my love for the Harlikino, figurehead for the underdog. My love for charlatanry and weird encounters. My love for the Commedia group, a bunch of thugs who lived in the woods and spoke the truth virtuosically. The women in the Commedia, who showed their breasts to attract audiences and then talked about their deepest feelings."

"And I'm going to lie dead still with you - my audience - in the MRI tunnel at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital for a moment and ask my 8-year-old self: 'Where are you?' 'I'm lying on your back,' she says. I ask: 'Can you hold me?' She does and we are silent. Then she asks, 'If you could choose between being yourself or being a pirate, which would you choose?' I reply: 'Then I would still choose to be a pirate.' The chemo starts dripping and our ship starts sailing."


In 2023, Katrien van Beurden was knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Femke Halsema, mayor of Amsterdam:

"Making the world a little nicer, that's what you are all about. Without political or personal interest and without trying to manipulate or influence people, but by taking people seriously, listening to their stories and then turning them into innovative and virtuoso popular theatre. Sometimes tragic, sometimes primal, but always very special. You are founder and driving force of the international actors' collective Troupe Courage. With a bag full of masks, you travelled the world, to a slum in Ghana, a refugee camp on the West Bank, and various tribes in India. But there is plenty to do in your own Amsterdam Baarsjes too. Livability, social cohesion, are under pressure there. And so you organise a film school, tea festival and free sports lessons for children. Clearly, you get people moving and connecting with each other, because living without connection, according to you, makes no sense. You are absolutely right about that."

Titus Tiel Groenestege - director:

"I have been around in the theatre world for more than 40 years, have made a lot and seen a lot, but still Katrien van Beurden managed to surprise me enormously recently. Because while we all looked in a different direction here in the Netherlands, she and her masks and international theatre troupe developed, right under our noses, a stunning, disarming, hilarious, confrontational and primordial theatre language that is unique and transgressive in all respects. It is Commedia dell'Arte, but in its Van Beurdens style. The Netherlands does not know it exists here and this has to change like hell. It deserves the biggest stages. It deserves a full house."

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