Kom Terug: Dutch Performance 2023

What do existential dinosaurs, falafel and criminally slow texting have in common? They all featured in Week One of the rehearsals for the Dutch Society play of course! 

image of a hand with a piece of chalk and the words Kom Terug (come back) to announce a play on 14 March at 7.30 in the Drama studio

Wednesday 22 February marked the first rehearsal of KOM TERUG! (A Course of History), the highly anticipated 2023 Nederlandse Vereniging performance. This year we have set ourselves the challenge of producing our bilingual ‘toneelstuk’ in record time, as our final performance will take place on the 14 March 2023, as part of this year's SLC Drama Festival. Follow our progress below and order your tickets!

Kom Terug!

14 March, 7.30, Drama Studio
Performed in Dutch and English

Get your tickets

Week 1
Group of about fifteen students with scripts in their hands and standing around a room with director

Week 1 of rehearsals are off to a promising start, as we’re already beginning to visualise how the final production might look on stage. We began the rehearsal with a rousing “PROLOOG!” and quickly settled into the first reading of our script, which is written in both Dutch and English. Thanks to the enthusiasm and raw talent of our cast members, our humble Jessop West was temporarily transformed into a drama studio, as we began to put the play ‘into space’. Our actors have already started adding their own characterisation to their roles! 

As the weeks go by, it will be interesting to see how everyone’s contributions will shape the final version of our script, which is constantly evolving…

Tot volgende woensdag mensen!

Luca Smith & Mary Kate Leigh

Week 2
Three students acting with script in their hands
Rehearsals for the Dutch play: Hannah, Summer and Lottie

Despite the rain and illness amongst the cast this week, rehearsals went ahead as we completed some sort of first full run through of KOM TERUG! (A Course of History).

On Wednesday the 1st of March we took a trip through history from cave paintings to customs, now working from the third version of our original script. Without giving away too many spoilers, we can tell you that our cast proved their multilingual acting talent once more, as we even incorporated some French and German lines into the play! 

However it’s not only our actors who are hard at work making the production a success, things are heating up behind the scenes too. Our band members are currently composing the music for the play, and our wardrobe department is also busy organising everyone’s costumes!

To find out more, we asked Lottie Van Bochoven, one of Kom Terug’s Heads of Wardrobe, about her experience being part of the ‘toneelstuk’:

What is your favourite part about being involved in Kom Terug?

Lottie: “My favourite part about being involved in the play is the sense of community that we have as a group, developing the scenes and rehearsing together, it’s a really fun atmosphere.”

What is the most challenging part of your role co-leading the costume department? 

Lottie: “The most challenging part of being Head of Wardrobe is probably putting concepts and ideas to life, the play is really creative and absurd at times, and we want that to be seen in the costumes as well.”

What is your favourite costume that will feature in the play? 

Lottie: “My favourite costume of the play is probably Karel de Kale’s (Charles the Bald) because Filip is really getting creative and crafty with making one aspect of it…”

Thank you to Lottie for the interview! Next week’s rehearsal will be the last in Jessop West before we move to practise in the Drama Studio. Wat spannend!  

Luca Smith & Mary Kate Leigh
Week 3
three students on a stage, one on the right speaking with hands on hips
Lauren Dalton (right) with Esther and Harry

Week 3 was a busy one for us all, as we held rehearsals on both Wednesday the 8th and Sunday the 12th of March.

Costumes were the main focus of Wednesday’s meeting, as our wardrobe department finalised which props and clothing items would be needed before dress rehearsals. We also got to hear 2 of our band members, Tom and Euan, play some of the music that will feature in Kom Terug! for the first time! 

Sunday was a highly productive day, as we held our first rehearsal in the Drama Studio! It was incredible to see everything come together on the stage we would be performing on in just 2 days. This all-day rehearsal was crucial to our progress, as we worked out the details of our stage set up, blocking, and practised the scene transitions and timings of our sound effects and music.

Additionally, the comedic elements of Kom Terug! all started to fall into place this week. However, we decided that despite the overall comical tone of the production, our final scene would end on a rather touching moment. Perhaps this was apt, as our journey putting on this year’s play together is almost coming to an end.

In fact, for some of our seasoned actors, this would be their last time acting in a Dutch Society play. Following her role in last year’s ‘Baltazar Krull’, we had a chat this week with Lauren Dalton, one of the shining stars of Kom Terug! and currently doing an MA in Translation Studies:

What was your favourite part about participating in the NV ‘toneelstuk’ this year?

Lauren : My favourite part of taking part in the play this year was getting to meet new people who share the same passion for Dutch!

How would you compare your role as an actor this year to last year? Do you still get nervous before performing on stage? 

Lauren : Yes, despite having experience from taking part in last year’s play, I did still feel some nerves, but I knew that with everyone’s hard work and energy that we would pull it off! 

Would you encourage others to get involved in a Dutch play if they have the chance to next year?

Lauren : I would definitely recommend getting involved with the Dutch play, it has been one of the highlights of my university experience! There’s so many ways to get involved, such as acting, music, tech and publicity. And it is so much fun!!

Thank you to Lauren and all of our cast and crew members, both new and returning, for all of their hard work and enthusiasm since day one! We would also like to include this message from Hannah Bilsby, Vice President of the Nederlandse Vereniging: 

“On behalf of the NV Committee, we also wanted to thank Filip De Ceuster, and all those that made this play possible! The love Filip has for his students is evident, and his passion and joy for Dutch studies shines through in everything he does. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you do for us!”

Week 4 will be the final week of Kom Terug!, concluding with our last dress rehearsal on Monday night, before the performance on Tuesday! So remember, mensenLach hard! Duik diep! KOM TERUG!

Luca Smith


Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.