“Close your eyes. A girl is tying her skates. A boy clamping hold of a chair, his mother teaching him how to skate. A father burns his mouth on a cup of hot chocolate. Today is a perfect day…”
For as long as can be remembered, the ice rink has been on land owned by the Kingma family. With the ghost of Kingma senior still present, daughter Afke is torn. Should she keep her promise to keep up the rink, or should she sell the land and save her farm? Her son has a right to a future and it’s hardly ever possible to skate anymore. In Under Wetter, a village is confronted by huge changes. It gets too much for some when even the future of the ice rink is at stake. Nature then gets carried away. Will the ice rink bring everyone together again, like it always used to?
Tryater gives the stage to different voices on the future of the ice rink. The chairperson who generally just wants to keep things how they were, the farmer who wants to sell the land, the climate researcher who puts the ice rink problematique in a wider perspective and the child that has never skated on natural ice.
On the beautiful ice rinks of Wergea actors, dancers, musicians and extras relate the story of the Kingma family. Under Wetter is an ode to the many ice rinks Friesland has and that, despite warmer winters, are still in use. A production about longings and traditions, packed with drama and festivities.
Collaboration with Ivgi&Greben
For Under Water, Tryater is working closely with the dance company Ivgi&Greben, based, like Tryater, in Leeuwarden. Ivgi&Greben create expressive dance performances internationally, translating urgent social issues into human expression that emotes and grips. For Under Water, Ivgi&Greben have created choreography that is infectious and celebrates dancing together, as a community. The six dancers drive the other players on and help to magnify certain aspects of the story, such as forces of nature and feelings of sadness and longing.
By car Parking on the Fricoterrein (navigation Kerkbuurt 1, 9005 PD Wergea).
By Public Transport With an OV-chipkaart or an Arcadia OV-dayticket you can travel with the Under Wetter-bus (line 422, platform C) from the busstation of Leeuwarden to Wergea. Leaving time at the busstation at 19:55. Leaving time Wergea after the show at 23.05.
Photography: Anna van Kooij
Good to know
There is a short walk (around 10 minutes, 600m) from the parking to the ice rink.
Under Wetteris suitable for audiences aged 12 and over.
Both Frisian and Dutch are spoken in Under Wetter. Subtitling is available.
English subtitles available (Smart Glass). Choose the ‘ticket + english subtitles’
Under Wetter has wheelchair access. Make sure you reserve a wheelchair place.
On Saturday 2 July, there will be a tactile signer from Komt het Zien. If you’d like to use the interpreting service, reserve a Komt het Zien place.
If the performance is cancelled due to bad weather, it may be rescheduled for the following Sunday or Monday. Tickets are valid for the relevant rescheduled date.
Slide up and make your evening complete!
Make a complete evening of it in Wergea and have dinner there first! Chef Geert-Jan Vaartjes (from Lauswolt, De Librije and now Oan Tafel en Grand Café JAN! in his birthplace Wergea) will be making modern winter dishes for the spring in a special pop-up restaurant. ‘Bare-bottoms-in-the-grass’, ‘hete bliksem’ (potato and apple mash) with beef cheeks and pickles, and, of course, a vegetarian option too. If you’d like to slide up to the Captain’s table, then book dinner for €20 per person!
Please note: places are limited and price is excluding drinks. If you’re vegetarian, make sure you indicate this when booking.
Arcadia – ICE Programme
Under Wetter is part of Arcadia’s ICE programme which includes a number of projects in which artists look for new connections with society. Arcadia is a 100-day long arts and culture event following on from Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture in 2018. Arcadia takes place every three years with the first edition being in 2022.
Under Wetter has been made possible by the Leeuwarden Entrepreneurs Fund (LOF), the Nieuwe Stads Weesthuis, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ritkse Boelema Gasthuis Foundation and the Meindersma-Sybenga Foundation, along with our regular subsidizers, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Province of Fryslân and the City of Leeuwarden.
“In the run up to the production, a lot of people shared their warm memories of the ice rink. They described it as a place that brought people together, where everyone was equal. They told anecdotes of fun, friendship and love. One person said natural ice was nature’s party. That moved me.”
Three years ago, as I walked past the ice rink in my village, I wondered what the future of the place would be. How often would ice still form there? Nearly every village in Friesland has an ice rink, often beautiful and centrally located. The ice rinks are looked after all year round: lottery tickets are sold, the grass is regularly mowed, and the land is flooded each winter. In the hope that it will freeze. But cold winters are becoming rarer.
In the run up to the production, a lot of people shared their warm memories of the ice rink. They described it as a place that brought people together, where everyone was equal. They told anecdotes of fun, friendship and love. One person said natural ice was nature’s party. That moved me. A party that we’ve been able to celebrate for generations, but the generations that are to come… will they still be able to experience it? And if nature doesn’t hold its party so often, how does that affect us?
The main theme in Under Water is how we cope with changes in traditions. I want the audience to see and feel what the ice rink means to different generations. How we can feel strongly connected to a place and what then happens if we’re forced to see that the future of this place is uncertain.
As Under Water developed, the subject matter became increasingly urgent. Three years ago I would often hear ‘it won’t change that fast’ but since the climate report was published, the future for Frisians isn’t only uncertain in terms of ice rinks. There’s a real possibility that global warming and rising sea levels will mean that our province will eventually be flooded. It’s an uncomfortable prospect.
As a theatre maker, I feel I am challenged to take the big questions related to the future of the ice rink and bring them down to smaller, more recognisable and human proportions. To give them a heart and a voice. Under Water brings people together again on the ice rink, a place that has bonded us so strongly for so long.
Part one (summer 2022): The ice rink In a few hours’ time Hendrik Jr will celebrate his eighteenth birthday at the ice rink. Hylkje has come back to the village for the first time in years and meets Jasper, the new Chair of the ice club. Afke has a difficult conversation with Dennis who makes it clear to her that her farm has huge financial problems – the sale of the land the ice rink is on could well be the only solution. And while Hendrik Jr shows Sara the ice rink, Afke asks her deceased father for help. Is there a solution to her problems?
Part two (summer 2022): The party The party gets going and Afke gives an emotional speech for her son’s birthday. Later in the evening, she asks him if he is sure he wants to take over the farm. Hendrik Jr doesn’t want to talk about it. Now Sara is going to go and study and he has to stay at the farm, he’s suddenly starting to wonder if their relationship will be able to last. Dennis makes a desperate attempt to convince Afke that selling the land the ice rink is on is the best option. While Hylke, after an emotional talk with Jasper, realizes the ice rink is where she feels at home, Afke decides it can’t hurt to look into the options of a sale. She dreams of a flood.
Part three (January 2023): Wet feet Although the newly published climate report is pessimistic about the future of skating in Friesland, Jasper and Hylkje are preparing for the ice club’s annual meeting. Hylkje is living back in the village and is to become treasurer on the ice club’s board. Surveyors then turn up at the ice rink. Hendrik Jr discovers Sara is with the surveyors. They split up some months ago and when Hendrik Jr confesses that he misses her, Sara tells him she’s met someone new. Afke and Dennis are getting ready to sign the contract selling the land but Jasper and Hylkje still know nothing about it. When Afke tells Hylkje, she’s furious. Jasper tells Dennis that the village won’t accept it.
Part four (January): the Annual Meeting While the ice club’s annual meeting is taking place in the village café, Afke has retreated to the ice rink. Tensions have become high in the village. People gradually come back from the meeting. Jasper and Dennis turn up at the ice rink and a fight starts. Once people have calmed down, they start eating cake. Afke and Hylkje reminisce at the ice rink and realize that they shouldn’t be up against each other but supporting each other. Sara and Hendrik bond. It’s agreed to talk more tomorrow. Hendrik Sr muses on all the different options that could be decided. Will the village buy the ice rink together? Or will houses be built? Or windmills? Or solar panels?
Epilogue (October 2037): Under Wetter It’s no longer safe to live in the north of Friesland as sea levels have risen and the dykes can break at any moment. The government has therefore instructed an evacuation and everyone is busy getting ready to leave. It’s painful to say goodbye. Hendrik Sr declares that the ice rink will continue to live on, in everyone’s own way.
Make a complete evening of it in Wergea and have dinner there first! Chef Geert-Jan Vaartjes (from Lauswolt, De Librije and now Oan Tafel en Grand Café JAN! in his birthplace Wergea) will be making classic winter dishes for the spring in a special pop-up restaurant. Grey peas, ‘bare-bottoms-in-the-grass’, ‘hete bliksem’ (potato and apple mash) with beef cheeks and pickles, and, of course, a vegetarian option too. If you’d like to slide up to the Captain’s table, then book dinner for €20 per person!
Please note: places are limited.
Price is excluding drinks.
If you’re vegetarian, make sure you indicate this when booking.
In addition to the cosy, delicious Captain’s Dinner in the Bidler, Geert-Jan Vaartjes and his brigade are also offering two VIP packages. Served in Grand-Café JAN! and the tasting room Oan Tafel, the VIP packages are, for instance, wonderfully suited to you and your business partners.
Under Wetter On the beautiful ice rinks of Wergea and Terschelling, actors, dancers, musicians and extras relate the story of the Kingma family. Under Wetter is an ode to the many ice rinks Friesland has and that, despite warmer winters, are still in use. A production about longings and traditions, packed with drama and festivities.
Come and enjoy a relaxed dinner before Under Wetter. And why not attend the show with your management team or business partners? The two VIP dinners, developed by chef Geert-Jan Vaartjes and his brigade, fit the bill perfectly.
VIP package at Grandcafé JAN!
Welcome: between 5pm and 6pm
Location: Grand Café JAN!
Reservations for 6 to 75 people
Dinner:a three-course dinner with sharing platters with a festive aperitif in the JAN! garden and accompanying drinks during the meal
Price: € 89.50 pp (incl. theatre ticket)
VIP package at Oan Tafel
Welcome: between 5pm and 6pm
Location: Tasting Room Oan Tafel
Reservations for 2 to 6 people (or the full house: 35)
Dinner: a four-course surprise menu from masterchefs Geert-Jan Vaartjes and Tom Zwerver with champagne aperitif and accompanying drinks during the meal