Needs 5 Ratings

De dans der vierkanten waarin opgenomen Elly, of het beroemde stuk (1980)

Mr and Mrs Schaambergen receive two free tickets to the opening of the Holland Festival in Theater Carré. There they are treated to a piece of modern art: the play called "Elly".




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Guikje Roethof ...
Cees Schouwenaar ...
Jack Pinijzer / vader Caldersma
Bob van Tol ...
Eric Ballen
Marie Kooyman ...
Agnes Ballen
Mendel de Boer ...
Lex de Regt ...
Otto Schaambergen
Mies de Heer ...
Marian Schaambergen
Ruut Weissman ...
Cabaretgroep / Soldaat
Hetty Heyting ...
Doris Baaten ...
Wouter Hasebos ...
Walter Crommelin ...
Truus Dekker ...
mevrouw Elly
Janine van Elzakker ...
Verliefd paar
Bart Römer ...
Verliefd Paar


Mr and Mrs Schaambergen receive two free tickets to the opening of the Holland Festival in Theater Carré. There they are treated to a piece of modern art: the play called "Elly".

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Comedy | Music





Release Date:

1 June 1980 (Netherlands)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This TV special can be found on disc 3 of Wim T. Schippers' Televisiepraktijken DVD box 9: Single Plays & Vroeg Werk. See more »


Pebbles on the Beach
Lyrics by Wim T. Schippers
Music by Clous van Mechelen
Performed by Wim T. Schippers
See more »

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User Reviews

21 November 2010 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

In 1980 Wim T. Schippers and Gied Jaspars were asked to organize the opening of the annual Holland Festival. The result was a cultural evening in Theater Carré, Amsterdam (tickets: 27,50 guilders a piece) which was broadcast live on VPRO television. The main attraction was the surreal play 'Elly'. However, for the TV version Schippers provided a framework story concerning a couple about to leave for Carré. He, Eric (Bob van Tol) doesn't really want to go, but she, Agnes (Marie Kooyman) has gotten hold of some free tickets. But when she slips in a dog turd in front of their house, he gives the tickets to their neighbors, Otto and Marian Schaambergen (Lex de Regt & Mies de Heer). When these two finally arrive in the theater, they receive a polite applause, the audience obviously aware that the two actors are part of the proceedings. However, after that they have very little to do with the stage-bound goings on.

Obviously I am a big fan of Wim T. Schippers' work and am grateful to the VPRO for putting all of his collected TV work out on 9 DVD boxes. But occasionally, some of these programmes do give me the feeling that Schippers is daring the viewer to turn of the TV. He is constantly pushing the boundaries of good taste as well as human patience. Most of the music presented in this stage show for instance, is intentionally off-key and the live parts are very hard to understand.

I am not entirely sure which came first, Jacques Plafond's long playing record 'Hark!' or 'Elly'. But I'm guessing the former. For just about every track is represented in the two hour presentation (two and a half if one includes the framing elements). After the Hark! Overture, the stage show opens with a short performance by a four peace but otherwise unnamed cabaret group. Then Elly (Guikje Roethof) introduces herself (though she had made a couple of fleeting, ghostlike appearances walking through the framework story earlier). This is followed by a monologue from Schipper's regular Cees Schouwenaar, this time as 'Jack Pinijzer' (though he too appeared in the framework story earlier on).

Elly, who according to herself doesn't exist, meets a wounded soldier called Jan. A young couple in love, also called Elly and Jan, appears in the middle of this scene. Next, Wim T. himself appears (credited as usual as Jacques Plafond), which makes sense as he performs most of the songs on 'Hark!'. He is wearing enough eyeshadow to make Johnny Depp blush, but since this is a stage show that can be excused. Jack Pinijzer return to announce a break in the proceedings. So how do you deal with a 15 minute intermission during a live broadcast? Cue the Schaambergen couple mingling with the other audience members in the foyer, as well as Mr. Pinijzer asking silly questions to some of them. Also, J. Plafond lip-syncs to his 50s sounding number "Pebbles on the beach", accompanied by composer Jan Vos (Clous van Mechelen) on sax (also lip-synced).

The second act starts when Elly introduces her new boyfriend, poet Jacob Geest (Jacques Plafond) to her extended family (where they came from is anybody's guess). The entire family is rather rude to him and begins making fun of Jacob's large nose (one of Wim's pet peeve's). When the curtains closes for yet another set change , even Jack Pinijzer begins to overstay his welcome and the festival director has to shoo him off. By this point the Schaambergens have already left the audience, him having had enough of Elly. The play only gets even less coherent after that, concluding with large parts of the audience (apparently a couple of different choirs on group outings) start singing all at once. Unfortunately most of them are not singing the same song.

Afterwards we cut back to the Schaambergens arriving home and complaining. This leads to an unexpected jump in time as we witness another couple in a futuristic setting read in the TV guide that the famous play Elly is being repeated on Television for the first time in ten years. They mention Wim T. has become a famous film director in the United States and again Elly appears in the background.

Despite this prediction, De Dans Der Vierkanten was never repeated on TV as it was never intended for repeat viewings in the first place and certainly not to be released to the Home video market. But times have changed, and in the digital age people like me enjoy seeking out everything produced in the past by people who's work we admire. And so, in 2009 this show finally resurfaced to be compared with Schipper's other work. This reviewer noticed that some elements from the show resurfaced a year later in Schipper's TV series "De Lachende Scheerkwast". First of all, a number from the Hark! LP, "What's the matter with Hannah" (aka "Oh Wie is Toch Elly") was provided with new lyrics and became the theme tune to Scheerkwast. Secondly, the Schaambergen couple became the leads in the series (although not for long). Still played by Lex de Regt & Mies de Heer , although their first names were changed from Otto & Marian to Rein & Ria.

5 out of 10

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