From solo Minions and Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga to popular arias and Robert Capa photos, here’s our pick of the week’s best things to do.
Admire sculpture and architecture
ArtZuid is an annual international outdoor sculpture exhibition. The selected works are erected along the wide and leafy avenues of the south of Amsterdam, an area planned by the architect HP Berlage nearly one hundred years ago and worth a visit just for the buildings. This year’s selection for ArtZuid was made by Rudi Fuchs, former director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, and includes works by Georg Baselitz, AR Penck, Markus Lüpertz, Thomas Schütte and Tony Cragg.
Apollolaan and other streets, Amsterdam until September 22. www.artzuid.com
Enjoy theatre in a picturesque location
Theatre and music performances at interesting locations indoors and outside throughout the picturesque city of Den Bosch. There are buses to take visitors to the locations.
This year’s participants include the Belgian theatre company FC Bergman with the dialogue-free The Land Nod. Using slapstick, film and their physical style of theatre, they use the history of the art museum in Antwerp and its large collection of paintings by Rubens to tell their story. Elsewhere, theater-maker Boukje Schweigman creates a theatre experience called Curve using lighting, sound and architectural forms.
Various locations, Den Bosch, August 6 to 16. www.festivalboulevard.nl
Seize a last chance
The last week of the National Archive’s exhibition of 450 photos selected from its collection of 15 million. They range from classic images by master photographers such as Robert Capa and Paul Huf to intriguing shots taken by amateurs. Because the archive covers the whole history of photography, this selection provides a snapshot of modern history.
National Archive, The Hague until July 12. www.gahetna.nl/blikvangers
Listen to popular arias
The Gelders Orchestra and the Netherlands Touring Opera are conducted by Antonello Manacorda for a programme of popular arias and duets from famous operas such as Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Puccini’s Turandot, Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s La traviata.
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, July 10. www.concertgebouw.nl
See the Minions in their own film
The tiny, yellow sidekicks from the two Despicable Me films get a solo outing which does offer a series of amusing vignettes but leaves a slight feeling of disappointment behind.
It begins well enough with a delightful ‘Minions through history’ sequence: a hand-drawn prologue in which the Minions evolve from a shoal of plankton-like creatures who scramble up the food-chain until they bob to the surface of the ocean – and erupt into CGI.
Eventually, with no villain to serve, the Minions fall into a period of depression, so three of their number – Kevin, Bob and Stuart – set off on a quest to find a new boss. They fall in with Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) and become embroiled in her plot to steal the crown and throne from the Queen of England.
Sadly, this section of the film does not play to the strengths of the Minions, becoming instead a series of badly choreographed action sequences. Directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (who also voices all the Minions) failed to take a leaf out of Aardman Animations’ book, who did silent comedy so brilliantly in Shaun the Sheep.
More Minions does not, it seems, mean more laughs. Fortunately, they will be back soon with anti-hero Gru for a third instalment of Despicable Me.
Swing the weekend away
One of the world’s foremost jazz festivals also features music ranging from blues to salsa with a line-up of international singers and instrumentalists. Among those appearing this year are Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Jamie Cullum, Roy Hargreave, Lionel Richie, Mary J Blige, John Legend, Lee Konitz and David Sanborn.
Ahoy, Rotterdam, July 10, 11 and 12. www.northseajazz.com
Get sand in your toes
There’s a new urban beach club in Amsterdam this summer and this one has no water in which to swim. Dok is situated on an industrial site in the Houthavens, part of the western port area. The beach furniture looks as if it’s been gathered by beachcombers. There’s a wooden stage decorated with a mermaid hanging in a fishing net, where DJs and bands perform. Lunch and dinner are served on a wooden terrace and the owners will soon open a cocktail bar. There’s also heaps of things for children to do.
Houthavens, Amsterdam until the end of August. Facebook: dokamsterdam.
Roam around the Mirós
Around 20 sculptures by the Spanish artist Joan Miró (1893-1983) form the subject of this year’s summer exhibition in the gardens of the Rijksmuseum.
They are on loan from international museums and private collectors. The Mirós are scattered around among the formal garden styles, old fragments of buildings, lawns and ponds of the gardens, which offer free entry to visitors.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until October 11. www.rijksmuseum.nl
Spend summer on the beach
The strange construction on the beach at Noordwijk is a temporary theatre made of recycled material such as windsurf masts. It is the location for music, theatre, dance, films, yoga, children’s programmes and art during the month-long Summer Festival. Among those taking part are La Manouche with a programme of songs from the Roma and Sinti cultures, and Carel Kraayenhof, the bandeon player who made Queen Máxima cry during her marriage to King Willem-Alexander in 2002.
Noordwijk until August 1. www.kunstklank.nl
Smell the sawdust
Circus Renz is the Netherlands’ only remaining travelling circus. It sets up its big top around the country and presents an international selection of circus acts. For this tour, they include aerial artists Duo Gravity, Michel Jarz and his six black Frisian stallions and Patrick Clarrison and his dogs. Of course, there are also trapeze artists, balancing acts, jugglers and clowns.
Olympiaweg, Alkmaar, July 7 to 12. Tickets and full tour list: www.renz.nl
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