Rick Engelkes: Millions for musical Willem van Oranje indeed rightly provided | show

Rick Engelkes distances himself from the speculation about alleged wrongful acts in his company Waterfront. Engelkes (62) announced this today in an extensive statement. The producer recently came under fire after it became known that he had received 4.3 million euros from corona support for a musical that is still not shown.

In the statement of Engelkes, which is in the hands of this site, it can be read that he ‘with a great creative team and leading partners from the business world is working hard to get this largest project off the ground artistically and commercially’. ‘We are very pleased with the conditional award of the subsidy. For the definitive award, of course, we must, as usual, meet all requirements, including the submission of a report of findings drawn up by an accountant within three months of receipt of the decision. This process is in full swing.’

Engelkes announced the new musical in 2019 William of Orangee on, a piece about the life of William of Orange. The premiere should have taken place on March 21, 2021, but the corona pandemic threw a spanner in the works, as a result of which the premiere was postponed to September 2021. According to Engelkes, the production was anything but stopped and a special theater would even be built in Delft for the musical. In order to realize this, the municipality of Delft would invest 600,000 euros in the building.

It Noordhollands Dagblad However, after investigation concluded that there were never any rehearsals and the temporary theater, which would accommodate 1350 seats, has not yet been built. Moreover, the environmental permit for the musical is also not yet finalized. Engelkes’ company, on the other hand, did receive 4.3 million euros in corona support. Unjustly, according to the newspaper, which speaks of a ‘ghost musical’.

Waterfront Entertainment, the company that Engelkes set up especially for the musical, said in a response last week that the allegations are incorrect. According to them, the production has indeed gone ahead and the theater in Delft has even been purchased and paid for. Various contracts, including one with the theater operator, are also said to be ready.

No tickets sold yet

The Performing Arts Fund has now announced after an investigation that the 4.3 million euros is a provisional subsidy that has been awarded in accordance with the rules in the compensation scheme and that Waterfront Entertainment has provided all the information that was necessary for this. The FPK states in a statement that the provisional allocation has been made in accordance with the prescribed procedure and that the final assessment by the fund will take place after reporting by Waterfront.

‘We assess on the basis of conditions and criteria that we have drawn up in advance and in that phase we rely on the information provided. We can ask clarifying questions. We have done this with various applicants, including at Waterfront. Waterfront quickly and extensively supplied the requested information. It was clear from the information available that ticket sales had not yet started. Based on the information provided, it has been decided to proceed with payment.’

According to Engelkes, we are working towards ‘a lot of enthusiasm’ to William of Orange to premiere in the fall of 2023.

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