The Story of the Story

Nederlands Theater Festival 7 & 8 August

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Nederlands Theater Festival 7 & 8 August


Anybody there?

A story, anywhere?


One day, an audience sits waiting for a show. The curtain is drawn and the stage reveals all: it is stark naked! Huh? In the far corner there are some people pottering about. Who they are? We don’t know, but they’re after your handbag and they smell of moss!


The Story of the Story is a show about….well, what IS it about? Hats off to you if you can tell us what happens! This show is Weird with a capital W. And Strange with a capital S. But also Exciting with a capital E.


There’s a very odd nature film with squares, circles and Cristiano Ronaldo. And the audience? All it can do is yearn and pine for some sort of thread connecting it all. But where to? Whither? What ho! Trumpets! Music! Does this mean the story is here after all?


The Story of the Story is ‘pure Batelaan’, a magical world that can ignite with sudden desires and expectations at any moment. An 8+ family show for all those who haven’t been selected for the school football team –  and for all those who have!


Directed by Jetse Batelaan Artistic advice Piet Menu Performers Goele Derick, Jente De Motte, Hanneke van der Paardt, Tjebbe Roelofs, Peter Vandemeulebroecke, Jurjen Zeelen Set & light Theun Mosk Costumes  Liesbet Swings Music Gerjan Piksen Narration Thomas Dudkiewicz Text contributions Don Duyns Dramaturgy Peter Anthonissen Director assistence Tim Verbeek


Premiere 15 September 2018, Tilburg

22 July 2019 Goldoni Teatro Biennale of Venice

7 & 8 september 2019, Nederlands Theater Festival

12 & 13 October 2019, Japan Aichi Triennale

19 & 20 October 2019, Barcelona Teatre Lliure

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From the jury report: “Director Jetse Batelaan offers Artemis and Het Zuidelijk Toneel a radical proposal for a disconnected world. He challenges the audience to relate to stories without structure, to connections lacking logic. The result is a world that is both frightening and liberating. The Story of the Story is a performance that doesn’t enlighten you, but which nonetheless gives you a lot of new insights. Batelaan, who, like no other, ruthlessly undermines what we (inside and outside the theatre) assume to be true, is doing the impossible: he is presenting a performance without direction, without structure, without story – and without glorifying it. A performance that is relevant for children, but especially for adults, who – with their flawless preference for manufacturability, systems and logic – may well benefit from this dysregulation.”

A spectacular start to the theatre season.


Of all the creators of Dutch youth theatre, Jetse Batelaan is the most interesting. This year he proved it again with The story of the story.

NRC Handelsblad

Batelaan distils a wonderful universe. It arises under your nose, but you only see it when you are surrendered to it: in a breathtaking final scene, in which everything comes together and represents nothing in an aesthetic way.

Het Parool

The wildest freethinker of the Dutch theatre has once again created an astonishing, unruly piece of philosophical slapstick.

De Groene Amsterdammer

A Spectacular start to the theatre season


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The jury: ‘Waiting has never been as much fun as at The Story of the Story by Jetse Batelaan. From a primeval man to a media star, where do you stand without a story? Fascinating loose ends form the red line in a theatre experience that is difficult to narrate but which is irresistible’.

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