Music was what offered Arjan comfort and support during his time in captivity. Singing and humming songs that reminded him of happier times, gave him strength and energy: Green Green Grass of home, Folsom Prison Blues and San Quentin.
In particular “Oerend Hard” from the famous Dutch band Normaal. This song connected him in a certain sense with his captors when they tried singing this song together with Arjan.
After Erkel performed at De Zwarte Cross, the largest festival in the Netherlands together with Bennie Jolink, the lead singer of Normaal the idea arose to develop a theater performance in addition to the public speaking Arjan already does.
In his show Freedom of thinking and acting directed by Eva-Lise Geerlings, Arjan plays out parts of his kidnapping and tells how he has survived his ordeal of 20 months. Jan Wilm Tolkamp, the last guitarist in the band Normaal, accompanies him with music and singing. The beautiful lighting and the scarce props complete the show.
Arjan not only talks about his sadness, loneliness, resilience and fighting spirit to endure his misery, but also talks full of humor about boxing with kidnappers, dealing with weapons and giving sex lessons to his attackers.
‘Freedom of thinking and doing’ is the wonderful and inspiring story of Arjan Erkel about surviving under pressure and looking for possibilities. Highly recommended to get yourself into action to fulfil your desires and to say goodbye to obstacles.
WHAT OTHERS SAY…
‘Arjan is not an actor and not a singer, but that is just the power: the audience realizes that it does not look at someone who plays it, but at someone who has really experienced and undergone it. The kidnapping, the fear, the sadness, but also the humor and the music that dragged him through those twenty months. The decor and the projections complete the picture with the added value of the sympathetic Jan Wilm Tolkamp playing the guitar, the last guitarist of the band Normaal. And after the performance comes the realization among the people; what a great good, your freedom of thinking and doing! A must to visit. ‘
I enjoyed your story. I really got carried away and occasionally had the idea that I could really feel where you were at certain times. As if I were reading a book. Really well done. You tell a fantastic narrative. “Debby H.
“Thanks for a beautiful performance. What a nice combination with the guitarist and also how your story for theater has been edited. That is very well done. “Hanny van de W.