Theatre on television and video

Recording of theatre for television is a difficult and hybrid form: the result is often not theater, and not television either. For the recording of two of his productions Paul Binnerts designed a new approach. The four or five cameras involved became ‘actors’ in the performance. They moved around and were sometimes visible for the other cameras. The performances were rehearsed in the television studio and, in one ‘go’, in real time, recorded twice, in the presence of the audience, who was included by the cameras as well. The recording time was the same as the performance time. The best registration/ performance was broadcast, without further editing.

Fear and Misery in the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht, a collage of scenes, nightclub acts, songs, striptease and dance, with music by Jean Lambrechts a.o., Theater School Maastricht, 1981. Directed for television by John v.d. Rest, recorded and broadcast by KRO-television, 1983.(video available)

Flametti, a montage piece based on poems and material of the DADA movement, and the novel by Hugo Ball, with music by Annemarie Roelofs. Schlicksupp teatertrupp, in collaboration with the Rotterdamse Toneelraad, Frankfurt am Main, 1982.
Directed for television by Paul Binnerts, recorded and broadcast by Hessische Rundfunk/ARD, 1985. (video available)

Video recordings of a.o.:

  • Man is Man, Tisch School of Drama New York University/The Elephant Brigade,New York, 2007 (also a ten minute version). (YouTube?)
  • Mephisto, Hummelinck Stuurman Producties, Amsterdam, 2006.
  • Big and Little, Haiyuza Theatre, Tokyo, 2000.
  • Black Box, Hummelinck Stuurman Producties, Amsterdam 1999.
  • King Lear, Toneelschool Amsterdam, 1997.
  • St. Louis Blues, opera by Chiel Meijering, InDependance/De Ereprijs, Arnhem, 1995.(video clip on YouTube).
  • Der Brotladen, Schlicksupp teatertrupp, Frankfurt am Main, 1980.

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New Books!

  • Het Leugenlabyrint (Eng. Labyrinth of Lies), a novel, Prometheus, Amsterdam, 2021.


‘The Hague, May 9th 1940. Bert Meijer van Leer becomes the proud owner of a German motorbike. Little does he know that the motorbike, a Zündapp, will save his life and cause his downfall. On May 10th the German army invades Holland. On that day Emmeke, Bert’s sister, celebrates her birthday. Emmeke and Bert are Jewish, but not practicing. Bert has been baptized and marries Lien who is Protestant. Emmeke is married to Joost, who isn’t Jewish either and anti-religious out of principle. Ingredients for a fatal chain of events.

Their ‘mixed marriages’ can’t protect them against the measures the Germans take against the Jews: excluding them from the society they live in through registration and public humiliation by forcing them to wear the Star of David; and, if they don’t comply, arrest, imprisonment, and deportation to a concentration camp.

In Labyrinth of Lies author Paul Binnerts witnesses how the Germans slowly tighten the screws. His characters are facing decisions, of which only afterwards can be said they were the wrong decisions. The only thing he can do is keeping them company.’