Our summer event this year was an opportunity for Martyn (Director, BSL) to finally experience a little Dutch culture. He’s not yet ready for the full Marco Borsato/Andre Hazes experience. So on Thursday June 6, we tore ourselves away from our work, and stood in the sunshine outside the office, waiting for a coach. A coach that was going to take us all to Katwijk, and the Soldier of Orange!

Soldier of Orange – The Musical

The musical is based on the story of a Dutch resistance fighter, Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema. After escaping to England at the start of the war, he smuggled radio transmitters into the Netherlands and piloted an RAF plane on bombing runs over Germany. He became aide-de-camp to Queen Wilhelmina. This hero was awarded the highest Dutch military honor for his contribution to the resistance. His book was made into a successful film, and “Soldier of Orange – The Musical” is based on Roelfzema’s own version of the story.

BSL to Orange

The coach was on time, the mood was good, and we soon arrived in Katwijk. We were met by our host, and enjoyed a drink on the sunny terrace while we waited for a couple of guests to join our party. A wonderful start to our Summer Event, organized by Caroline Bos.

The show takes place in a converted hangar, on an old military airfield “Valkenburg“. An unusual location, but essential for such a unique spectacle. Soldier of Orange uses many amazing sets, such as Leiden University, a student house, a beach (with ‘real’ sea), a hotel on the beach, dunes, prison cells … and an airfield. The audience sits in the middle, and the whole floor area rotates so they face the different locations throughout the performance.

After our guests arrived, our host guided us to a private dining area. A delicious Italian buffet was waiting for us. Drinks, tasty Italian dishes, pasta, desserts and more. So much, that we finished the meal feeling rather overfull!

Sit back and enjoy the musical

On to the musical. We were taken to our seats – perfectly located-  and the show started. What a spectacle – in a word “fantastic”. A wonderful experience, even for those of us who don’t normally visit musicals – there is so much to see and enjoy! We were turned backwards and forwards to view the many locations where the drama is set. And the whole show was extremely slick. Nothing is left to chance, if the Soldiers of Orange want to cross the sea, they get into a real boat, with waves breaking onto a beach. You even feel the cold watching the actors in the water!

During the interval, it was time for more drinks and a snack. And a chance to chat about what we’d seen. On hearing the bell for the second half, we quickly returned to our seats. Eager to see the rest of the show!

More fantastic scenes unfolded before our eyes, accompanied by more beautiful, stirring songs. And as we approached the end, two huge sliding doors opened on stage. To everyone’s amazement, there stood a Dakota in full glory, outside on the airfield! As the story tells it, the Dakota brings Queen Wilhelmina back to her country after the allies free the Netherlands. The story ends with the Soldier of Orange (Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema) riding away on his motorcycle.

All good things…

…come to an end. After giving the cast a well deserved standing ovation, we walked towards the coach that brought us safely back to Breukelen.

After such a wonderful Summer Event, our batteries are fully charged. Whilst some of us head for the beach, the rest of our team is ready for their next challenge. We’d love to talk to you about your next project!

See you soon – so get in touch.

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