Female Economy

MOES about

The Netherlands has a long tradition of allotment (MOES) garden complexes with summer houses that the tenants are allowed to live in during the summer.

All around the gardens, actors and residents are telling stories, letting the weeds flourish, singing songs and sadly allowing relationships to wither, because things can’t stay the same for ever.

Adelheid, Zina and the Veenfabriek have joined forces. The allotment garden complexes Ons Buiten in Leiden and Tuinpark Buikslotermeer in Amsterdam became the neighbourhoods where they got together with the tenants to celebrate a theatrical spring evening that culminated in an invitation to dance!

Bert Luppes combined Thomas Bernhard’s The World-Fixer with the life story of allotment resident Fred. Titus Muizelaar welcomed Ineke and Remco, who are specialised in the rearing of forgotten vegetables. Adelheid treated visitors to flower petals in her search for herself... and for her mother.
John van Oostrum travelled the paths like Dean Martin. Nazmiye Oral brought her brother-in-law Ugur from Turkey and planted him in this allotment is to show how a stranger tries to find his home. And then mole caused moments of unrest on the languid strolls.

The audience let themselves be moved and surprised by the musical, funny, poignant and poetic scenes and encounters, and at the end of the evening they allowed themselves to be swept away to the melancholy sounds of the Leidse dance orchestra ‘Date 7-2-7’.


'Nowadays Roosen is mostly active as a director and organiser – although those words hardly do her justice – but what an experience it is to be so close to her as she carves out a persona.'

'There is a single sentence that hangs in the air for the entire evening. It is spoken by Nazmiye Oral in her brother-in-law’s refreshment stand. “Why would you leave home, if you knew you’d never arrive anywhere?” If there’s anything that Moes teaches us, then it’s this: people will keep on coming, and people will keep on wanting to feel at home. And it doesn’t matter whether they come from a strange and distant land or from a wooden shed among the lupines and daisies, with gnomes in the garden.'

'The audience is on a visit to a micro-neighbourhood of summerhouses where actors blend the tales of garden residents with their own stories and with theatrical literature. The tenants are there too. They are themselves, and they receive the guests and engage in a continuing conversation that culminates in huge scenes.'

'Paul Koek collaborated with Adelheid Roosen on this piece. ‘We’ve mixed real stories with additional theatrical and literary elements,’ explains Koek. Back in March, the story collectors at Zina started talking to the owners of all 420 gardens making up the complex. ‘You ring the bell, you step through the doorway, and you get a story,” says co-director Roosen.'

'There’s a jungle garden at number 119. Hetty (one of Adelheid Roosen’s roles) is pottering around in a little house at the back of the complex. She lights oil lamps in the deepening twilight, and starts to tell a story about her husband, who she found dead on the floor. But as the story continues it becomes increasingly disjointed. When she wants to hand out a snack and instead passes around a plate of flower petals, we know for sure that the spirit of Alzheimer has entered her being. Adelheid Roosen’s monologue makes a real impact.'


'Then I cringe when he says: ´I house built. You me help.” He points to things: ´Wood... door... window`. His broken Dutch makes him come across as rather greedy and brazen. And he's smiling all the time, too. I see him struggling in his contact with the Dutch allotment gardeners, and I see how in turn they struggle with Ugur due to the lack of a shared language. Ugur only brightens up when he sees an animal or when he’s walking alongside a waterway, daydreaming about having a water lily of his own. But there's still an impressive amount of stuff by the end of the day. And something else has happened: without words, and without conscious intention, a sense of connectedness has developed. On every roofing tile, and on every little piece of timber, is painted the garden number and the name of the gardener to which it belongs. All these visible names means Ugur suddenly no longer feels alone in the building of his dream.'

    • 01 moes pictures aankomst
    • 02 moes pictures khadija
    • 03 moes pictures myr
    • 04 moes pictures elly
    • 05 moes pictures publiek koptelefoons
    • 06 moes pictures vergeten groenten
    • 07 moes pictures agnes
    • 08 moes pictures voorstelling brug
    • 09 moes pictures band
    • 10 moes pictures eindfeest
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MOES on tour


01 t/m 10 Jul 11 I Buikslotermeer Allotment gardens


15 t/m 26 Jun 11 I Ons Buiten Allotment gardens

MOES credits

Artistic team I Paul Koek, Adelheid Roosen
Actors I Reinout Bussemaker, Joep van der Geest, Bert Luppes, Titus Muizelaar, John van Oostrum, Yonina Spijker, Lizzy Timmers
Story collectors I Mo Reda, Myriam Sahraoui, Merel de Groot, Nazmiye Oral, Elly Ludenhoff, Khadija Massaoudi, Agnes Matthews, Elsbeth Zanen, Esmee Dorenbos en Berbel Lippe
Music I Date 7-2-7, Bastiaan Woltjer
Dramaturgy I Dirkje Houtman, Paul Slangen
Production I Anne-Marie Geldhof, Tim Nieburg, Sabine Oldenburg, Vincent van der Wolf, Martha van Meegen, Tafel Van Zina
Technique I Joost Verlinden, Tjalling Bal
Design Flyer & Poster I Johanna Koelman ArtsUnited.nl
Photography I Erik Hijweege

Thanks to I Jaap de Groote, André Joosten, Juul Dekker, Bart Majoor, Rebekka Wörmann, Mehmet Oral, Willem de Vries, Meryem Gunes and garden residents of Volkstuincomplex Ons Buiten and Tuinpark Buikslotermeer

Supported with dosh by I Europees Integratiefonds, Stadsdeel Amsterdam Noord, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Stichting Doen, Wijken voor Kunst, Oranje Fonds, Tuinpark Buikslotermeer, Fonds Podiumkunsten, Ons Buiten en Cultuurfonds Leiden