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  • Writer's pictureBrecht Hermans

Review Leidsch Dagblad

Journalist Theo de With from Leidsch Dagblad visited our performance TWAALF at PS Theater and wrote a review. The photos are by Hielco Kuipers. The original article can be found here.

PS|theater takes its audience back to group eight in a light-hearted performance | review

It's digging deep into your memory. The Cito test, how long ago was that? Just calculate and be shocked. In my case, 45 years back in time.

Yet PS|theater takes its audience back to that time in the performance 'Twaalf'. Group eight or sixth grade for older visitors. You are twelve and about to leave primary school. A new, unknown world awaits: high school.

The actors Rian Evers and Brecht Hermans followed four children and their parents for six months at this turning point in their lives. They ate along, went to open days and attended the final musical. In this way they gradually formed a picture of this essential period in young lives.


In the Makerscentrale on the Langegracht (the former Stadsbouwhuis) they also make visitors feel twelve again. Especially if sheets are suddenly handed out. “The Cito test!”, it sounds sternly. “Keep the questions reversed until you get the signal that you can start, don't talk, don't cheat and certainly don't look at your phone. Good luck!''

Of course it is not really a Cito test. There are a few arithmetic and language questions, but the text fragments and associated questions mainly provide a picture of the current situation in the educational world. Because that is what the makers of PS|theater want with this performance: to make the audience think about the education system. Is that really that good? Isn't twelve years too young to make a choice for further education? Doesn't that actually contribute to inequality of opportunity?


A delegation from the Ministry of Education has already attended one of the performances in the series. So who knows, PS, as Leiden's city company, may still contribute to changes in the education system. Because, the actors emphasize, one in five children does not easily keep up, falls outside the boat and that has consequences for the rest of his or her life.

Despite the spicy theme, they managed to create a surprisingly light performance. The actors play sound fragments from the interviews with the children and their parents. It's funny to hear that one child is pushed by their parents to get a high score on the Cito test, while another child says nonchalantly: "Oh yes, we also have a test. What's that name again? The Cito test or something?''

Rian Evers and Brecht Hermans intersperse these fragments of conversation with catchy songs and their own memories of group eight.

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