"Going to the Dogs" a play by Wim T. Schippers

"Tout" Amsterdam was on 19 September 1986 at the premiére of "Going to the dogs", a play in four acts by Wim T. Schippers. A beautiful family drama full surprising inversions and revealings, with a zest of Tsjechov. Why was the Stadsschouwburg packed full and was there even an extra night-show announced?

The six roles were played by German shepherds disapproved for police force tasks. After nine months of rehearsals they could act in Schippers' fair drama. They barked, sniffed and did their need in one of Amsterdam's most respectable theatres. A report was made for Dutch television. The TV makers spend much time on the responses of public; firstly expectant, then in the break and at last after the play. We fortunately also get information of what happened behind the scenes especially how an English reporter with bewilderment in his voice told the English people what happened. Dogs on the stage! And hundreds of people came to see it!

The show was an old wish of Wim T. Schippers, "Can dogs be happy?'' he wonders. They are especially restless. They trot on back and forth, behind and around each other. There are also tenderising moments, such as when one of the dogs peers to a portrait of a shepherd dog. What does the dog think? Am I that, is it a female? The public response is more extreem lyrically than sobering up or contemplative. That tells a lot about the audience. But for them the dogs did not care, they wanted their bone. Hector had the heaviest role: he long and fiercely barked against the velvet-red curtain, behind which things takes place that nobody knows. He, however he smells. The nose of the dog is the driving force behind their body, and then we are far from Tsjechov and just in the unknown world of the dog where they all of a sudden become what they themselves did not know: surprising actors.

Here's some extra information:

Announcement of the play
The actors: Bella, Nimrod, Victoria, Hecktor, Jane and Bobby
Biography of Wim T. Schippers

Personal notes:

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