'I love Groningen': Comedian Joop van 't Heck (70) says ceremonial farewell to Stadsschouwburg

'I love Groningen': Comedian Joop van 't Heck (70) says ceremonial farewell to Stadsschouwburg

Comedian Joop van Heck (70 years old) bid farewell to his beloved Groningen with four shows. There is room for “healthy sadness”, but De Laatste Ronde's farewell tour is above all a celebratory exclamation mark behind his career.

“I like Groningen and I think it's somewhat mutual.”

This is how Joop vant Heek began his weekly column on October 2, 1993 NRC Handelsblad. The love remained for decades. “Groningen is a wonderful city. I love coming there very much. And not just me, but my whole entourage. The musicians, the technicians and the management.

As a comedian you will be there for the last time until Saturday. Stadsschouwburg can also be marked as sold out four times then Groningen.

“This is a very conscious agreement I made with myself. I think you should be away on time. I played for fifty years, forty of which were sold out. I had a wonderful, exhilarating time. Then it's a good moment to decide for yourself that enough is enough.”

No sadness now that it's really time?

“Yes, but healthy sadness. We will play another 25 games with our heads held high. Splinters are coming from the boards. Everyone realizes that it stops. And it's quite a club too… I mean: my manager Hans Floberg has been involved since 1982, and the musician Ton Scherpenzel since 1984. Everyone Almost all of them are also veterans. Only the drivers are constantly changing, because they are students.

They were present in the theater in large numbers. Especially in a city like Groningen.

“When I was standing on stage forty years ago, the audience was almost entirely young. The audience has grown with me. The students of that time are now fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers. And she's right about that. The next group of comedians – Daniel Arends, Rondfunk – are eagerly excited. In fact, they've been there for a long time.”

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Soon you will only have memories and stories.

“Yes, and of course I have great memories of Groningen. Really amazing! It was the first real student city I came to and played for a week. Packed city theater night after night. Cycling against the façade. I once performed an hour-long show in the freezing cold, At night in the light of Vibo on the Grote Markt.

A legendary story.

“I've already spoken to at least a thousand people who were there. But I can tell you: I started with thirty spectators and increased to eighty spectators. Certainly nothing more. Well, Groningen… the Hotel du Doelen, of course. Schimmelpenninck Huis “The Hotel de Ville, in the past, we used to sleep there too. We just took over the bar there. We were allowed to stand behind the bar and write down what we drank. Until it became NH Hotels, and then that was it.”

Then Café de Slotel…

“Only good memories. Koos Huizinga, who has sadly passed away, was the best hotel concierge in the Netherlands.

Once upon a time you could walk the streets anonymously, even in Groningen.

“I started in 1973, and for the first ten years nobody came to see me at all. Just nobody. Well, my brother came ten times and my mother five times, and so on. Until I came on TV in 1984 – I was 30 – with this weird song Borrow, borrow, pay, pay. “After that I never sold again,” he said arrogantly. And always with the same group of boys. Even though my kids don't let me say, “Dad, these kids are in their 70s.” “For me, they remain boys.”

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You will always be a 'Youpie' to the public.

“However, you have to be a bit realistic with yourself. I see people around me dying or getting sick. All my peers. My brother (Hope, editor), who lived in Haren, died recently. Signs that you should be on guard Prepare. I no longer want, as I did eight years ago, when I had a problem with my heart, to have the newspaper read “You're not well” or “I've taken you off the stage” every now and then. I'll die, I promise, but I will “That's at home.”

Not too fast, please.

“No no no. I will also continue writing and have many other plans.

One more thing: would you still visit Groningen if you no longer had to, work-wise?

“Yes, of course, because I have a number of friends here and I will continue to visit them. There is always plenty to talk, chat and drink. And there is another reason: the roof of the Stadsschouwburg must be removed as soon as possible. What a big mistake. In a few years, this painting will be half the life of “A century, and the brush will finally be allowed to erase it. I will come personally with a can of white paint. You can oblige me.”


He plays Joop Vant Heck The last round Until Saturday 13 April in Stadsschouwburg, Groningen. All shows sold out. This also applies to the rest of the tour, which ends on Saturday 25 May in Carré, Amsterdam.

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