Four centuries of Shakespeare in the Netherlands

The exhibition ‘ShakespeareNL’, on view until 7 May at the Special Collections, shows how Shakespeare conquered the Netherlands.

The most-performed playwright

The four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death is being commemorated on a large scale in many countries. And justly so, because no other playwright has left such deep marks in theatre history as did William Shakespeare (1564–1616).

In The Netherlands too his plays are still the most played ones of any playwright in history. The exhibition ShakespeareNL demonstrates that Shakespeare is still omnipresent, both in theatre as well as in popular culture. The exhibition can be visited at the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam from 16 December 2016 until 7 May 2017.

Influence in the Netherlands

Poster Hamlet

Design: Chris Lebeau

Nearly everyone knows who Shakespeare was and we are all – on a conscious as well as on an subconscious level – regularly confronted with his work. This exhibition shows just how far-reaching Shakespeare influence really is in The Netherlands. Many different items from the Special Collections are on display, such as scale models, costumes by Rien Bekkkers, theatre posters and books.

Loans from, amongst others, Atlas van Stolk, Archief Erfgoedcentrum Rozet in Arnhem and the National Theatre can be seen. Furthermore, monologues recorded by Gijs Scholten van Aschat can be listened to, monologues that tell of the many passions that the characters in Shakespeare’s plays experience, guiding the visitor through the exhibition.

Designers and curators

Gijs Scholten van Aschat opened ShakespeareNL on 15 December. The design of the exhibition is by Stefan Voets and Loes Claessens. Hans van Keulen (Curator Performing Arts) and guest curator Rob van der Zalm (from the Institute for Theatre Science) compiled the exhibition.

  • Bijzondere Collecties

    Oude Turfmarkt 129 | 1012 GC Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 7300

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Published by  Special Collections UvA

4 January 2017