Lieve Stad, 2023




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I feast on deficits
That's worse than on nothing

What does it mean to be cleaned out by the government? What does it mean to always have to be wary of your surname, your origins, your dual nationality? In the gripping monologue Vecht written by Maxine Palit de Jongh based on the benefits scandal, we witness Zafirah's downfall.

Festival Lieve Stad,
Location Meervaart - Blauwe zaal

Run time tba
Genre Theatre

In Gesprek Tue 21 March


Zafirah is a young sprightly woman who works for the legal department of a government agency, raises two children and is crushed in the racist wheels of government. Envelope after envelope falls on the mat, identifying Zafirah as a fraudster. She has to pay until there is nothing left of her.
Vecht makes tangible the devastating consequences of the benefits affair (where tens of thousands of parents were wrongly labelled fraudsters). Commissioned by Likeminds, Maxine Palit de Jongh wrote this topical play about institutional racism.

Maxine Palit de Jongh

Maxine Palit de Jongh is a playwright, theatre maker and poet. In her work, she deploys magical realism by having her characters ask questions that activate the audience's imagination. Maxine went on residency to Paris with Flemish-Dutch House deBuren, wrote youth poetry for youth theatre company BonteHond and attended Het Letterenfonds' Slow Writing Lab. In 2021, she won the El Hizjra Literature Prize for Poetry with her poem tjongklak/congklak.



'What a text, what a performance! Zafirah's development from carefree mother to a shadow of herself almost takes the form of a Greek tragedy.'


'It is a suffocating and desperate story. Lonely, but also so powerful and confrontational'

In Gesprek: Maxime Palit de Jongh

After the performance, Christiaan Mooij will talk to the writer of Vecht, Maxine Palit de Jongh. How does theatre relate to reality? How do you harness the power of the writer and the play of the actor allowing you to approach issues with new angles. Politics is sidelined. We look for engagement. Human activism on a smaller level where you look at what you yourself can do. Regardless of whether you are a victim.

In Gesprek is free to attend and starts shortly after the performance.


text Maxine Palit de Jongh
play Nadia Amin
directed by Zephyr Brüggen in collaboration with Nadia Amin
design Loes Schakenbos
costume Eos Brüggen
music Martin van Hees
dramaturgy, text accompaniment Liet Lenshoek
technique Luca van Deurzen
with thanks to Matthias de Koning, Ray Vaessen

17 - 26 March

Festival Lieve Stad,

Amsterdam is a city of many faces, literally, because we live here together with many different nationalities. Lieve Stad is about the city and all its inhabitants. This festival, a collaboration between ITA and Meervaart, is about bringing people together, in the city, in the theatre, in society. How do we live together and what stories do all individuals and groups carry with them? They all have their own stories, strengths and challenges. Showing these is the starting point of Lieve Stad,.

More Lieve Stad,