Back to Top
Friday 22 Feb
86260 users - now online: 1490 people
86260 users - now online: 1490 people login
Printer Friendly Page  
Festive Commemoration of Singer and Comedian Wim Sonneveld

by our Editors in Theatre, Art & Expo , 09 september 2017

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

On June 28, it was one hundred years ago that the comedian, singer and actor Wim Sonneveld (1917-1974) was born. To celebrate this happy fact, the Amsterdam bridge 175 on the Marnixstraat that spans the Leidsegracht was officially renamed the Wim Sonneveld Bridge on that very same day. The nameplate was unveiled by, among others, comedian André van Duin.

According to some experts, Wim Sonneveld was one of the greatest Dutch theater artists ever. His songs and conferences are still widely loved, and he was a major influence on Dutch theater and song culture. A reviewer once described him as “a poetical connoisseur, striking character player, and popular jester.” Besides all this, he was also gay. Although he never officially came out of the closet, at one point his being gay was a well-known fact.

Wim Sonneveld with Friso Wiegersma From 1947 to his death in 1974, Wim Sonneveld was in a private and working relationship with the painter, designer and lyricist Friso Wiegersma (1925-2006). Wiegersma was decisive for Sonneveld’s career. In the twenty-seven years they were together, they traveled frequently, writing letters to each other from places such as Paris, New York, Madrid, Suriname, Curacao, and Hollywood, where Wim Sonneveld tried his luck as an international film actor around 1956. He played, for example, alongside Fred Astaire in the 1957 film “Silk Stockings.”

This correspondence was recently discovered in the estate of Friso Wiegersma, and at the end of June was published by Nijgh & van Ditmar under the title “Niemand dan wij” (Nobody but We). The letters reveal an enormous eagerness, a great cultural awakening of two young men. It is all the more shocking that Kester Freriks in the “Theaterkrant” reported that most of the letters, drawings and personal notes of Sonneveld and Wiegersma were found in the rubbish, as actor and cabaret performer Hans van der Woude - Wiegersma’s partner after Sonneveld’s death - told at the Book Salon at the University of Amsterdam.

Wiegersma could lose himself in drawings and personal projects for friends. For Sonneveld, he regularly made loving drawings or collages in which he himself is the cross-eyed “Friepel.” In addition to the correspondence, some of these unique drawings were also retrieved. “Niemand dan wij” is a collection of these letters and drawings, carefully delivered and footnoted.

The edition gives an unprecedented intimate look into this intense personal and working relationship. It was Wiegersma who designed almost all of Sonneveld’s productions. Wim Sonneveld asked Wiegersma to write some songs, resulting in Dutch classics such as “Nikkelen Nelis,” “Josefien,” “Moeder, ik wil bij de revue,” and “Het Dorp.”

These songs will undoubtedly be performed during the Wim Sonneveld Gala at Royal Theater Carré on Wednesday, October 4 and Thursday, October 5, organized to commemorate Sonneveld’s centennial anniversary. Loes Luca, Paul Groot, Mark Rietman, Berget Lewis, Sjors van der Panne, Annet Malherbe, Tony Neef, and Orchestra Pol Vanfleteren will pay a festive tribute to the artist. Responsible is the same team that organized a successful gala on the occasion of comedian Toon Hermans’s hundredth birthday last year.

Wim Sonneveld (foto © Theo Noort/MAI)They are now working on these two festive evenings about the beloved singer and celebrated theater man Sonneveld, who was born in Utrecht a hundred years ago. Sonneveld was the favorite performer of texts by Annie M.G. Schmidt, Simon Carmiggelt, Michel van der Plas, Friso Wiegersma, as well as the songs of composers Harry Bannink and Ruud Bos.

He was the talk of the town as Willem Parel, Nikkelen Nelis and Frater Venantius, and was seen over seven hundred times as Professor Higgins in “My Fair Lady.” Wim Sonneveld was a thoroughly Dutch artist up to his unexpected death in 1974.

 The Wim Sonneveld Gala on October 4-5 will celebrate this great artist in a grand and festive way.
Tickets are available on




In the New Issue of Gay News, 331, maart 2019

Disneyland Pride
May 31, 3-days arr.

More from Theatre, Art & Expo
More from Gay News- issue 313
More by our Editors


Leather, Rubber & Twisted gear

learn more |visit

bottom image

Entire © & ® 1995/2019 Gay International Press & Foundation G Media, Amsterdam. All rights reserved.
Gay News ® is a registered Trademark. © articles Gay News; duplication forbidden. Inclusion only allowed after written approval of the publisher, with clear source mentioning Articles used by third parties will be invoiced and cashed where necessary. Gay News | ISSN: 2214-7640 | ISBN 8717953072009 | Wikipedia.
Follow Gay News:
Twitter Issuu
RSS (dutch) RSS Editors (dutch) self-employed Escortboys

Contact us

© 1995/2019 Gay News ®, GIP/ St. G Media