Retourtje Delft performance, September 2009

Retourtje Delft (Return ticket to Delft)

A poetic performance on the subject of Delft in a very special location, the water pool in front of the historic arsenal, now a museum. The theme is the construction of the railway tunnel, which will change the station area completely. Wilma Keizer directed  the play, and the texts were written by Jan van der Mast. The event was commissioned by WeSD.

The audience stands on the quayside, illuminated by 200 Chinese lanterns. The play starts with ‘haban olla vogala’ sung by a mixed choir carried onto the scene in two electric boats. Next, 11 year-old Anne Meynaar, held aloft in a cherry picker, tells the story of Delft. Images filmed from the train are projected on the arsenal wall: this View on Delft will disappear forever. Two boats carrying a Klezmer orchestra and a brass band glide into the pool. A pair of tourist guides make preposterous statements about the citizens of Delft: they all love Johannes Vermeer;  the girl with the pearl earring is the most beautiful painting in the world; they go to the Mauritshuis museum three times a year to see the original paintings; every once in a while they visit the Vermeer Centre to take a look at the 37 paintings that are not exhibited in Delft. When the proceedings are in danger of erupting into never ending discussion, the final song interrupts. In the film we see what the people of Delft would like and what they expect Delft to look like when the tunnel is finally completed.