Going to the Dogs is a 1986 play by Dutch writer, artist, and television director Wim T. Schippers. It premiered on 19 September to a sell-out audience in the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam, with six German Shepherds, allegedly trained as actors by the Amsterdam police, as the performers. The play provoked national and international attention, and even drew protest from an animal rights group.
Schippers, who had gained a reputation as an artist creating unusual works of visual art in the 1960s (for instance, his Pindakaasvloer consisted of a floor covered in peanut butter),conceived of the idea for the play in the early 1970s, and explained that the six dogs had been acquired as puppies and had received acting lessons from the Amsterdam police. The real spectacle, he said, was "the curious fact that people will actually come to the theatre to watch dogs eating, barking, urinating, fighting, sleeping and playing".
The plot was called "familiar" in one review, and was described as "a Byzantine love story set in a rambling country manor":a young girl introduces her boyfriend to her parents, and plays up emotions like "love, jealousy, curiosity, and parental worries". The actors were prompted by "pieces of meat and cookies thrown into [sic] the appropriate direction". About the meaning of the dogs' acting, Schippers said that humans act on stage but "dogs remain normal. Thinking about that gives you a new perspective on the theater".
The play attracted national and international attention both before and after its sold-out 19 September 1986 premiereand provoked much controversy; questions were asked in Dutch parliament about why such an absurdist play received government subsidies. Not all were positive: reportedly some people (including the theater manager) left the performance early in dismay, and an action group, "The Underdog", protested against what they saw as animal abuse.
A performance of the play was released in 2008 on the two DVD set of Schippers' television drama series Op zoek naar Yolanda (1984), along with the television productions Sans rancune (1987) and De bruine jurk (1988).In 2011, lead actress Ilja van Vinkeloord (1981–1996) was honored with a portrait in the Stadschouwburg's gallery, hung among portraits of such veteran Dutch actors as Kitty Courbois, Joop Admiraal, and Mary Dresselhuys.
Van der Valk is a British television crime drama series, produced by Thames Television for ITV, that starred Barry Foster in the title role as Dutch detective Commissaris "Piet" van der Valk. Based on the characters and atmosphere of the novels of Nicolas Freeling, the first series of six episodes was broadcast in 1972. A second series followed in 1973. Both were recorded on 2" quadruplex videotape at Thames' Teddington Studios in London, with location scenes shot in Amsterdam on 16mm film.
Willem Theodoor "Wim T." Schippers is a Dutch artist, comedian, television director, and voice actor. During the 1960s, he worked mostly as a visual artist, associated with the international Fluxus-movement. As a television writer, director, and actor he is responsible for some of the most notable and controversial shows on Dutch televisions from the 1960s to the 1990s, creating a number of lasting characters and enriching the language with terms and expressions first coined in his shows. In addition, he voiced the characters of Ernie and Kermit the Frog on the Dutch version of Sesame Street. For his shows, he has written over three hundred songs, and his reputation has changed from being Dutch television's "enfant terrible" to an acknowledged master in a variety of genres.
Opzoek naar Yolanda was a Dutch dramady television show by Wim T. Schippers, consisting of six episodes aired by the VPRO from October to December 1984. The show was a continuation of sorts of Schippers' De lachende scheerkwast (1981-1982) and featured some of the same characters. In turn, it was a kind of prequel to We zijn weer thuis, which ran from 1989 to 1994.
De lachende scheerkwast is a Dutch television show written and directed by Wim T. Schippers, who also plays one of the lead characters, Jacques Plafond. It ran on VPRO television for six episodes in 1981 before being canceled, and then returned for another six episodes.
Clous van Mechelen is a Dutch musician, arranger, and actor. Van Mechelen scored a minor hit in 1969 with his band The Butlers, and became widely known through the radio and television shows written and directed by Wim T. Schippers, in which he played the character Jan Vos and wrote songs for the various characters.
Ronflonflon, or Ronflonflon avec Jacques Plafond, was a radio show on the Dutch broadcaster VPRO. It was produced and directed by Wim T. Schippers who also played the principal character and radio host, Jacques Plafond. Between 10 October 1984 and 30 January 1991, 328 episodes were produced, and it became the VPRO's best-listened radio program.
Het is weer zo laat!, also known as Waldolala, is a Dutch television show from 1978, written and directed by Wim T. Schippers and co-produced by Schippers, Gied Jaspars, Wim van der Linden en Ellen Jens. It was the last TV show written for Dolf Brouwers, who had played the character Sjef van Oekel in previous shows.
Dolf Brouwers was a Dutch comedian, singer, and television actor who rose to fame late in life playing the character Sjef van Oekel in the 1970s satirical television shows aired on VPRO, written and directed by Wim T. Schippers, Ruud van Hemert, Gied Jaspars, and Wim van der Linden.
Sjef van Oekel was a popular TV comedy character created by Dutch artist Wim T. Schippers and played by Dutch comedian, singer and actor Dolf Brouwers (1912–1997). Van Oekel started as a side character in De Fred Hachéshow in 1972, but became such a cult figure that he gained his own television show, Van Oekel's Discohoek, songs and even a comic strip, all written by Schippers.
Ellen Jens is a Dutch television director and producer, best known for her collaboration with Wim T. Schippers on VPRO television. She has produced and directed a large number of other television shows, especially on literature and art, and is referred to as a "television legend".
Gied Jaspars was a Dutch television maker who gained prominence in the 1960s and 1970s making progressive and controversial TV shows for the VPRO; he is well known for his collaboration with writer and director Wim T. Schippers. After he left the television and film industry he started a career as a business man; throughout his career he had a great interest in nature, expressed in narrative, meditative reflections in television and radio series which were later bundled as a single collection.
Peanut-Butter Platform is an artwork by Dutch artist Wim T. Schippers. It consists of a floor covered with peanut butter.
The Torentje van Drienerlo is a 1979 artwork by Dutch artist Wim T. Schippers, located on the campus of the University of Twente in Enschede.
Barend is weer bezig is a Dutch television show written and directed by Wim T. Schippers with Wim van der Linden, Gied Jaspars, and Ruud van Hemert and broadcast by the VPRO in 1972-1973. The show was produced by Ellen Jens. Four regular episodes and a Christmas special were made, and caused considerable controversy, particularly because of a scene in which Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was mocked.
IJf Blokker is a Dutch musician and television actor and presenter. After a professional career as a drummer, he became a well-known television actor in the 1970s playing the character Barend Servet in the Wim T. Schippers-directed shows on VPRO television.
De Fred Haché Show is a 1971 Dutch television show written and directed for the VPRO by Wim T. Schippers, Ruud van Hemert, Wim van der Linden, and Gied Jaspars. The show marked the return to television for Schippers, van der Linden, and Jaspars, who had been on the team that was responsible for the controversial 1967 show Hoepla, canceled after three episodes. Like its "sister show" Barend is weer bezig (1972-1973) and Van Oekel's Discohoek, it was an absurdist show with lots of nudity, linguistic humor, satirical skits, and illogical plot lines.
Het laatste nippertje is a 2011 play by Dutch writer, artist, and television director Wim T. Schippers. It premiered in the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam, and was a co-production with Titus Tiel Groenestege, Titus Muizelaar, and Kees Hulst. The play received less favorable reviews than earlier plays by Schippers; Martijn Kardol, writing for CultuurBewust, commented that it lacked the progressive and groundbreaking qualities of Schippers' 1986 production Going to the Dogs, not rising above flat and repetitive humor, and that the actors lacked the impeccable timing necessary for such a production.
Wim van der Linden was a Dutch photographer and film and television director. As a photographer he documented slums and subcultures in Amsterdam in the 1960s. His "Tulips", one of four experimental and satirical Sad Movies (1966-1967), is praised as one of the dramatic high points of Dutch film history, and with Wim T. Schippers and others he made groundbreaking and controversial television shows for the VPRO in the 1960s to the 1970s.
Plafond over de vloer is a Dutch television show in nine episodes, aired in 1986 by the VPRO and written and directed by Wim T. Schippers. It derives from the radio show Ronflonflon, and its main character is that show's host, Jacques Plafond.
We zijn weer thuis is a Dutch dramady-series broadcast by VPRO from 1989 to 1994. It was written by Wim T. Schippers and co-directed with Ellen Jens as his swansong-series for VPRO. The series was released on dvd in October 2007; nostalgia-channel Best 24 first started reruns in 2010.