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.