Where better to give a try-out theatre show than at Kasteel de Wittenburg, former police spokesman Klaas Wilting must have thought. It turned out to be a bull’s-eye. The Hague and Wassenaar society listened breathlessly to his stories about the turbulent past of Amsterdam. All the highs and lows of his long career were covered. From the early years in the middle of Leidseplein in 1964, where The Bulldog is now located, to 2000 when he retired from the police force. Video footage was shown of the Maagdenhuis occupation, the Coronation Revolt of 1980, the Heineken kidnapping (where the late Peter R. de Vries can also be seen) and the death of squatter Hans Kok in a police cell, which had a huge impact on Wilting’s family.
The performance was excellently looked after by Ralf Meppelder and his team, with Amsterdam bittergarnituur 2.0 served up in advance and musical accompaniment by warm, nostalgic Amsterdam sounds from the accordion. This was followed by a delicious two-course dinner in the classic castle rooms. What stuck in the minds of those present were the background stories that Wilting managed to capture so beautifully through video interviews with Bulldog owner Henk de Vries and through images of the route through Amsterdam along the Leidseplein, the route of the Heineken kidnappers and the Hilton Hotel where top criminal Klaas Bruinsma was liquidated. Wilting tells a sincere story and gives his vision of the tolerance policy that has got so terribly out of hand, as witnessed by the liquidations of lawyer Derk Wiersum and crime reporter Peter R. de Vries. Code Blue’ is the story of a police spokesperson from the ‘old’ Amsterdam that should not be missed.