A drama competition for 200 naked people in a giant sauna? Our
writer gets a sweaty taste of ‘aufgass’ in the Netherlands
I am standing behind a partition rope, waiting for the theatre
to open. An excited hum rises off the crowd, and there is jostling
when the stewards throw open the doors. As a theatre critic, I have
stood in countless such queues. I should not feel the fear that I
do, but there is one vital difference here: audience members are
wearing nothing more than bath robes and flip-flops.
And then they’re not even wearing those. All clothes are
discarded as they race to claim a seat on the tiered wooden benches
inside the auditorium and lay down towels to mark their spot. In a
matter of minutes, there is a neatly arranged room of almost 200
naked people sitting in a heated amphitheatre, waiting for the show
to begin. I am as disrobed as the rest of them.