Skip to main content

Blauwdruk Continuing to develop the theatre collective under the warmth of its wings

For Blauwdruk (‘Blueprint’), the Impulse donation from Dioraphte happened at a good time. ‘We had outgrown ourselves as a new theatre collective and ended up stuck between two subsidy schemes. That deprives you of any opportunity to grow in a healthy way. Dioraphte stepped in to fill that gap.’

In 2020, when Bram Walter left drama school, he and two fellow students founded Blauwdruk. Since then, the company has grown to five people and they’re forging ahead. ‘We focus on making theatre for a broad audience of people who don’t usually go to performances, but who do visit when it’s just around the corner. On site. The foundation of our work is the classical repertoire. It involves outdated plays that are almost never performed anymore because they’re often considered boring. We mercilessly drag those plays through into the present. This is how we bring Vondel into the pond and Molière into a dark forest.’

Looming Hiatus

Blauwdruk evolved quickly. Very soon after the collective was established, it received government funding from the Performing Arts Fund, specifically aimed at new makers. This allowed them the time to assess their artistic signature and identity. Walter: ‘The scheme proved to be very good for us, it laid the foundations of our company. We started new partnerships. We created some amazing performances. And we found bigger and bigger audiences.’ But then, after two years, the scheme stops. ‘Sometimes you are fortunate enough to get straight into the government’s long-term subsidy. This would have run from 2025 to 2028. However, in our case there was the looming prospect of a hiatus.’ That was the moment Dioraphte approached Blauwdruk. ‘A unique window of opportunity. Funders are often keen to subsidise new cutting-edge performances. But not the work done behind the scenes. Like artistic direction – which accounts for about 50 per cent of all the work; or drawing up the 2025-2028 multi-year plan, which we’ve been working on full-time for two months. Or having a business director who manages the financial side. We are now able to use part of the Impulse donation from Dioraphte towards these things.’

The most talked about performance

However, more than anything else, the donation is intended to create productions that kick-start the collective’s creative development. To expand into the city of Alkmaar, Blauwdruk was keen to play its part during the festivities surrounding the historic victory over the Spaniards 450 years ago. This was held at the legendary site where the battle was fought back then. Up to their ankles in the mud, Blauwdruk performed its tragicomic play Vrij van verzet (Free from Resistance). It dealt with the question of whether being set free is the same as being liberated. This performance was a milestone in terms of their development and was one of the best-reviewed performances by the press.

Trust and space

The Impulse donation also acts like a seal of approval, Walter explains. Getting an award makes it easier to convince other funds. ‘Actually, it is something we don’t often come across, the sort of fund that has such a clear vision on what theatre arts need. One that is proactive and involved, and one that inspires confidence and gives you space. It feels like having the warmth of a pair of wings under which to grow.’