DP 2 Dutch students, on visiting Soldaat van oranje- the musical
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DP 2 Dutch students, on visiting Soldaat van oranje- the musical

On Octobre 27th the DP2 Dutch Language and Literature students visited the Dutch musical Soldaat van Oranje in the Theaterhangaar in Katwijk. This musical can be used by the students as a ‘Body of works’ for the preparation of their Individual Oral Exam for Dutch Language and Literature. In their exam, they analyse an extract of a literary work that they have read and an extract from a non-literary text.

By Anne Logman, secondary Dutch

Soldier of Orange is based on the true story of one of the greatest Dutch resistance war fighters, Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema. After escaping to England at the start of the war, he smuggled radio transmitters into the Netherlands and piloted an RAF plane on bombing runs over Germany. He became aide-de-camp to Queen Wilhelmina and was awarded the highest Dutch military honor for his work in the resistance.

The story brings to us today, Dutch life and culture during the 1940’s. It deals with themes like resistance, friendship and love in war times.

The former Valkenburg military air base in Katwijk is the perfect location for the play. A real airplane is interestingly used as part of the sets as well!

What do our students think of the longest standing Dutch musical?

‘This production was not only educational, but the experience also allowed me to reflect on my own life. It helped me appreciate the people, places, and little things around me. The play demonstrated the fact that these ‘privileges’ could be stripped away from you. The moving seats, the music, the actors, and the sets were all so impressive!’

‘We really liked the experience of going to the theatre with our class. We got into discussions like, would I fight in the war for my country? Or, would I find my place in a production like this?’

‘They had some really impressive decor including real water with real waves. This musical was a great experience with good insights of how a historical event as this is being expressed through art.’

‘I really enjoyed the fact that the sets of the play were so intricate and detailed. They really focused on the smallest detail which made the sets look realistic and allowed the actors to fully immerse into the 1940’s. Further, the actors really were able to deliver the story in a way that kept the audience engaged and entertained. Overall, I really enjoyed the musical.’

Soldaat van Oranje was a wonderful way to fall in love with theatre again whilst reflecting on the far-reaching impact of WWII. The production raised a lot of interesting questions about the representation of history in popular culture and the importance of remembering WWII. It is one that will stay with me!’