For the last 15 years, ‘Toenail Culture Ale’ (literal pronunciation and pun on the Dutch term Toneel Cultureel), a Dutch speaking amateur theatre group in Christchurch, has been performing Dutch plays for a primarily Dutch speaking audience.
The group chooses a new challenge each year as witnessed by their choice of play. They have performed romantic plays, classical plays, contemporary drama, interactive theatre, who-dun-nits, and even adult fairy tales.
What ‘Toenail’ lacks in professional talent is made up for by pure enthusiasm, innovative set design, and in maximising the enjoyment of the audience.
The ultimate aim is for the audience to have an entertaining, enjoyable night out with suitable drinks and nibbles.
Last year their choice was the old, but still very popular, mother-of-all-Dutch-musicals: ‘de Jantjes’. (‘Jantjes’ is a colloquial name for sailors).
The storyline of the play is mainly located in a typical 1920’s Amsterdam pub, where the regulars share their lives, love, gossip, intrigue, and colourful stories.
‘De Jantjes’, having finished their military duty, are disappointed in life outside the navy, and sign up for a further six years in the Dutch army to serve in the then Dutch colony of Indonesia.
Because of the success of this play last year, and specifically for the celebrations of the 50-year anniversary of the Christchurch Netherlands Society, Toenail Culture Ale has re-vamped the musical into a shorter version. It is this version that caught the attention of the Hamilton Netherlands Society. Consequently, with great enthusiasm of both parties, plans are made to bring ‘de Jantjes’ to Hamilton. The performance will be at the Tulip Festival in the pavilion of the Hamilton Gardens, Saturday night the 5th of September. Keep this date free, more information will follow closer to the date.