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This new play based on the life of Anne Frank uses her writings to tell the story of the two years spent by her and her family in the secret annex in Amsterdam and of events before and after they went into hiding.

There is a multi-lingual translation system available that can be booked free of charge. It takes the form of a tablet and theatre-goers can choose between a written translation and a synopsis of all the scenes. It is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese and Dutch. Audio versions are available in English and German.

Theater Amsterdam, Amsterdam until November 30.



Art Is Therapy

The British writers and philosophers Alain de Bottom and John Armstrong are currently commenting on 150 artworks on display in the Rijksmuseum, from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century, and including items in the Asian Pavilion.

They are focusing on the therapeutic effect art can have and the big questions in life that art can answer.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until September 7.



Ayn Rand

An evening of discussion about Ayn Rand's work and her impact on society and politics, both in the US and in Europe.

Rand (1905-1982), the author of the best-sellers Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, is one of America's most controversial political thinkers, fiercely defending the individual against the collective. Her radical beliefs are considered extreme right-wing in the Netherlands.

However, her focus on authenticity, autonomy and integrity are an inspiration for many artists. One of these is Ivo van Hove of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, who has adapted Rand's novel The Fountainhead for the stage. It is performed with English surtitles on several dates in August and September.

Felix&Foam, Amsterdam, September 1.



BJ Novak

The American author, actor and comedian talks about One More Thing, his collection of bizarre short stories. Novak is probably best known as the character Ryan in the tv series The Office US, on which he was also one of the writers.

People's Place, Amsterdam, August 30.



Bridal gowns

A collection of 14 white and one black bridal gowns dating from 1760 to 1940.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until December 31.



Calder at the Rijksmuseum

The second in a series of annual international sculpture displays in the garden of the Rijksmuseum features the mobiles, stabiles and standing mobiles of Alexander Calder (1898-1976). They are on loan from major museums and private collections.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until October 5.



Danish Delight

A three-day festival which brings the finest jazz from Denmark and in which each concert features two bands which represent contemporary Danish jazz.

Among those taking part are the ensemble of strings, percussion and piano led by Jacob Anderskov, The Cabin Project featuring vocalists Kira Skov and Marie Fisker, and percussionist-composer Marilyn Mazur who worked with Miles Davis and now leads her own group.

LantarenVenster, Rotterdam, September 4, 5 and 6.


Jacob Anderskov and Marilyn Mazur also appear in Amsterdam the evening before the festival.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 3.



Darrin McMahon

The American historian discusses his latest book, Divine Fury: A History of Genius, in which he traces how the concept of genius has transformed over time, leading to a 'religion of genius' which led to the excesses of the Nazis followed by the redemption of genius by Einstein, the last of the titans.

McMahon was awarded Best Book of the Year awards by the New York Times and the Washington Post for his previous book, Happiness: A History.

Amstelkerk, Amsterdam, September 15.



David Cronenberg: The Exhibition

The Canadian film-maker David Cronenberg is one of the originators of what is commonly known as the body horror genre, exploring people's fears of bodily transformation and infection. The films from the first part of his career explored these themes mostly through horror and science fiction, but latterly his work has expanded beyond these genres. He has been called 'the most audacious and challenging narrative director in the English-speaking world'.

The exhibition includes props, set photos, costumes and set designs. Among them are the helmet from Videodrome, the typewriter from The Naked Lunch, Rosanna Arquette's brace from Crash and the Telepod from The Fly. There are also extracts from his films.

Eye Film Institute, Amsterdam until September 14.




David Virelles Trio

The groundbreaking New York pianist plays a combination of avant-garde jazz and Cuban music with bass player Thomas Morgan and drummer Eric McPherson.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 13.



Dutch National Ballet

Rudi van Dantzig's glorious version of Swan Lake with music by Tchaikovsky and beautiful sets and costumes by Toer van Schayk, which he based on Dutch old master paintings.

Muziektheater, Amsterdam, September 14 (matinee), 17, 19, 20, 27 and 28 (matinee).


Dutch Theatre Festival

A chance to see the best productions of the previous season as selected by a jury of theatre professionals, performed with English surtitles. Keep an eye on the website for which titles are included.

There is also a full programme of masterclasses, improvisation performances, lectures and after show discussions.

Stadsschouwburg and other theatres around the Leidseplein, Amsterdam, September 4 to 14.



Ed van der Elsken

The Dutch photographer and film-maker Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) is famous for his images of Amsterdam dating from the end of World War II to the 1970s. This exhibition features some of his lesser known photos of street scenes, run-down buildings, riots and passers-by. They give a fascinating look at the fashions of the day.

Stadsarchief, Amsterdam until September 14.



Expedition Silk Road

A glimpse of the long-lost civilisations along the legendary Silk Road, the trade route which ran from China to the Mediterranean from before Christ until the 15th century. The exhibition provides an expedition along the route using 250 objects from the Hermitage collection, including sculpture, precious silks, silver, glass, gold and terracotta excavated by Russian expeditions in the 19th and 20th centuries.

One of the highlights is a more than 9-metre long mural of a deity in battle with predators from the royal palace in Varakhsha (7th-8th century, present-day Uzbekistan). This prized work of art has never left the Hermitage in Russia before, but following its restoration it is on display in Amsterdam during this exhibition.

Hermitage, Amsterdam until September 5.



Francis Fukuyama

As a follow-up to his visit to the John Adams Institute in 2011 for his book The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama returns to give a lecture about his new book Political Order and Political Decay, a companion volume to his previous book.

John Adams Institute, Amsterdam, September 26.



Friday Night Skate

Make sure you wear something appropriate for the themed skates through some of Amsterdam's less known areas. They start at around 8.30 pm in the Vondel Park.

Bretten Lichtjes Skate takes in Amsterdam West and its large green area of Bretten. There will be an extra stop at around 8.45 pm outside the council offices to pick up people who live in the area. Bring a lamp or buy one at the start.

September 19. If it rains, it will be postponed until September 26.

Vondel Park, Amsterdam.


There are also Friday night skates in Utrecht, Tilburg and Groningen, and a Wednesday night skate in Rotterdam.


Grant Stewart Quintet

Standards from the jazz repertoire played as if written yesterday by the Canadian-born tenor sax player with the full-bodied sound of the tenor sax giants who traverse jazz history.

He is joined by trumpet player John Marshall, pianist Leo Lindberg, bass player Kenji Rabson and drummer Phil Stewart.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 25.



Hiswa on Water

The boat show on the water features around 300 new five to 30-metre boats and the latest in water sport equipment. There is a nautical market for accessories and clothing and a host of activities on the water.

NDSM-werf, Amsterdam Noord, September 2 to 7.




Ideal Home (Woonbeurs)

Ideas for the home and garden, the latest trends and experts offering advice, demonstrations and workshops. The fair covers literally everything, from lamps and watering cans to wooden flooring and wallpaper.

RAI, Amsterdam, September 30 to October 5.


Kaiser Chiefs

The indie rock band perform songs from their latest album, Education, Education, Education & War, the first to feature new drummer Vijay Mistry.

Paradiso, Amsterdam, September 11.


Lady Gaga

The artRave tour sees the always extraordinarily clad singer perform numbers from her danceable electronic pop album Artpop.

Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, September 24.




Larry Clark

The American film-maker and photographer Larry Clark is probably best known for his 1995 film Kids and his photography book Tulsa.

Tulsa (1971) and Teenage Lust (1983) are his earliest works and reveal a youth culture which at the time was totally unknown to the wider public. Images of sex, violence and drug use permeate both series.

Foam, Amsterdam until September 12.



Masters of Photography

Works by National Geographic's top ten photographers, ranging from the famous Afghan girl and the women in burkas and sports shoes of Steve McCurry to the colourful haze of colour that is the yellow-winged macaw by Frans Lanting.

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam until October 19.




This National Theatre production of Euripides' play is in modern dress, with a terrifying performance from Helen McCrory as Medea, the mother who takes revenge on her faithless partner by murdering their children.

Pathé Cinema, Amsterdam, Groningen, The Hague and Rotterdam, September 4.



Minyeshu, who hails from Ethiopia but has lived in the Netherlands since 1996, sings numbers from her new album, Black Ink, which have been specially rearranged into a jazz version for this concert.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 12.



National Opera

The renowned choreographer Sasha Waltz directs Monteverdi's Orfeo, using her own company to create dances for the instrumental passages which intersperse the sung parts. The music is played by the Freiburger BarockConsort conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. Among the soloists are Georg Nigl and Charlotte Hellekant. They are joined by the VocalConsort Berlin.

Muziektheater, Amsterdam, September 3, 5 and 6.

A staged performance of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, a tale of passionate love that falls prey to misunderstandings. It is the first time the Gurrelieder cycle has been performed as a full-scale opera. It is directed by Pierre Audi with sets and costumes by Christof Hetzer. With the Netherlands Philharmonic conducted by Marc Albrecht, the chorus of the National Opera, the KammerChor des ChorForum Essen and soloists including Burkhard Fritz and Emily Magee.

Muziektheater, Amsterdam, September 2, 7 (matinee), 12, 13, 18 and 21 (matinee).



Reggie Watts

The internationally renowned vocal artist-beatboxer-musician-comedian performs in Amsterdam for one night only. Watts creates his performance on the spot using his formidable voice and looping pedals.

Boom Chicago, Amsterdam, August 30.


Rembrandt's Saskia

Rembrandt's portrait of his first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, is on loan from Washington's National Gallery of Art. The portrait, which has recently been restored, has never been shown at a Dutch museum before. 

Rembrandt probably began painting the portrait in 1634/1635, shortly after he and Saskia were married, and only completed it some years later, around 1640. It was last shown in Europe in 1894, in Paris.

Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam until August 2015.



Robeco Summer Nights

This year's summer series of concerts featuring classical, pop and jazz music includes recitals together and apart by the piano-playing brothers Arthur and Lucas Jussen; Leo van Doeselaar with works by Bach and Saint-Saëns on the organ; violinist Simone Lamsma playing Beethoven's violin concerto; fado from Cristina Branco; and film music by Nino Rota, John Williams and Howard Shore.

The closing concert is a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta with violinist Janine Jansen.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam until August 31.



Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Chinese pianist Yuja Wang is the soloist for Shostakovich's piano concerto nr 1. Also on the programme are Rossini's The Thieving Magpie and Prokofiev's symphony nr 5. Mariss Jansons conducts.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, September 17, 18, 19 and 21 (matinee).

A performance of Ligeti's Requiem, together with works by Ockeghem, Varèse and Ravel. Conductor Jonathan Nott and the orchestra are joined by contralto Allyson McHardy, soprano Jane Archibald, the Flemish Radio Choir and the Dutch broadcasting choir.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, September 25.




The Dam tot Damloop is a 10 mile road race between Amsterdam and Zaandam. This year it celebrates its 30th edition with an extra event on the Saturday evening: the four mile Damloop at night. This takes place over a shortened version of the main route.

A total of around 65,000 runners are expected to take part in both events. In addition, 16,000 walkers and 6,000 cyclists will take part in their respective events.

The start is on the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam and Zaandam, September 20 and 21.




The HDI Gerling Rotterdam Open is an international tennis competition for up-and-coming players. It is played on gravel with referees and linesmen from the International Tennis Federation.

32 male and female players compete for prize money of $15,000 for the men and $10,000 for the women.

Victoria Tennis Club, Kralingen, Rotterdam, August 23 to 31.


Davis Cup tennis as the Netherlands plays Croatia for a place in the world group. The Ziggo Dome has laid a special indoor gravel court for the three-days of play-offs.

Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, September 12, 13 and 14.


The Art of the Brick

The bricks in question are those made by Lego from which the American artist Nathan Sawaya is able to build just about anything. This exhibition is a selection of 75 of his works, ranging from a full size dinosaur to 3D versions of famous paintings such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and classical statutes including Michelangelo's David.

His website brickartist.com is well worth a look to see what else he has made. On the site he says he likes to place his yellow Hugman character somewhere in the city where an exhibition takes place.

Amsterdam Expo, Amsterdam until September 14.



Toneelgroep Amsterdam

The largest repertory company of the Netherlands presents its productions with English surtitles throughout August and then on Thursday evenings.

The Fountainhead is based on Ayn Rand's 1943 novel of the same name. The protagonist is the architect Howard Roark, who embodies what the author believes to be the ideal human spirit. Roark's struggles reflect Rand's belief that individualism trumps collectivism. Among the cast of this production directed by Ivo van Hove are Ramsey Nasr, Halina Reijn and Tamar van den Dop.

There is an evening of discussion of Ayn Rand's work at Felix&Foam in Amsterdam on September 1. (www.john-adams.nl)

Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, August 29, 30, September 4 and 18.

Hamlet vs Hamlet sees Tom Lanoye take Shakespeare's play and turn it into the identity crisis of a young man. Director Guy Cassiers says it is also a metaphor for the political crisis in Europe.

Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, September 7 and October 2.



Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of this early - possibly even first - play by William Shakespeare is beamed into cinemas. It is the first time it has been played on the company's main stage since the production of 1970 starring Helen Mirren.

Simon Godwin directs this comedy delight of cross-dressing, misunderstandings and love with stand-out performances from Mark Arends, Pearl Chanda, Roger Morlidge and a wonderful lurcher.

Pathé Cinemas, Amsterdam, The Hague, September 3.





The new cultural season opens with the annual Uitmarkt where opera companies, choirs, orchestras, theatre and dance companies, museums and many more offer information about their forthcoming performances and exhibitions. There are also tasters in the form of indoor and outdoor performances.

Museumplein and Leidseplein, Amsterdam, August 29 to 31.



War Horse

If you've seen Steven Spielberg's film version of Michael Morpurgo's children's book but would really like to see the original theatre production with its amazing puppets, this Dutch version is easy to follow. The story is simple: boy buys horse, horse is sequestered by the army, boy joins up to find his horse. The action moves from rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France.

Theater Carré, Amsterdam until September 28; Luxor Theater, Rotterdam, October 2 to 31.



More What's on

  • BJ Novak
  • Reggie Watts
  • From the Guggenheim Collection to the Cobra Museum: International Abstraction 1949-1960
  • Robeco Summer Nights
  • Mummies: Surviving After Death
  • Residentie Orchestra
  • Uitmarkt
  • Sculpture The Hague
  • Art in Duin
  • Ayn Rand
  • Danish Delight
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Hortus Festival
  • Medea
  • Maps to the Stars
  • Expedition Silk Road
  • Sky! - in Dutch Art Since 1850
  • Early Music Festival
  • Motor sport
  • Illyria Open-Air Theatre Company
  • Art Is Therapy
  • Hiswa on Water
  • Seurat: Master of Pointillism
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Minyeshu
  • Larry Clark
  • Rowing
  • David Virelles Trio
  • Dutch Theatre Festival
  • The Art of the Brick
  • Gergiev Festival
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Ed van der Elsken
  • David Cronenberg: The Exhibition
  • Darrin McMahon
  • Benjamin Herman Trio
  • Friday Night Skate
  • National Opera
  • Running
  • Paul Noble - Nobson
  • Introdans
  • Film by the Sea
  • Organ Recitals
  • Lady Gaga
  • Tribute to Neil Diamond
  • Gideon van Gelder
  • Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Grant Stewart Quintet
  • Francis Fukuyama
  • Back 2 The 90s
  • International dog show
  • Flat Earth Society & Mauro Pawlowski
  • Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens: The Flemish Baroque
  • National Tattoo
  • Rotterdam Philharmonic
  • Dutch National Ballet
  • Hans Klok
  • Ashton Brothers
  • Toneelgroep Amsterdam
  • Calder at the Rijksmuseum
  • Ideal Home (Woonbeurs)
  • Ilse de Lange & The Common Linnets
  • Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
  • Il Divo
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Amsterdam Dance Event
  • Jimmy Carr
  • Masters of Photography
  • Anastacia
  • Elvis Costello
  • War Horse
  • The Pretty Things
  • Festival Jazz International Rotterdam
  • Level 42
  • Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings
  • Michael BublĂ©
  • Caro Emerald
  • Marianne Faithfull
  • Glorious Heroes
  • Marga Weimans
  • Anne
  • The Spanish Riding School
  • PAN Amsterdam
  • The Rush and the Calm: Moments in the City
  • The War of the Worlds
  • Ennio Morricone
  • Once Upon A Time...The Collection Now
  • Disney Mania
  • Dust! 100 Years of Vacuum Cleaners
  • Bridal gowns
  • Maurits House: The Building
  • Swan Lake On Ice
  • ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament
  • Moving Magic
  • Katy Perry
  • Football
  • Music Show Scotland
  • Rembrandt's Saskia
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