(Novum) – Musical star Brigitte Nijman is ‘very happy’ that she can collaborate with composer Ruud Bos. “I became hysterical when I heard that Ruud Bos was going to compose and write all the songs for the musical ‘Pietje Bell,'” Nijman tells Novum News. Bos wrote the song ‘If you only knew’ for Nijman.
Ruud Bos previously composed the famous song ‘Every time again’ for Willeke Alberti. “That’s my favorite song. I asked Ruud if he wanted to write a second ‘Over and over again’ for me. Then he came up with ‘If you only knew,'” explains Brigitte. The song is used in the musical when the Rotterdam street cafe Pietje Bell is missing. “It is very often that you only miss something when it is no longer there, and that is what the song is about.”
Nijman, 35, started rehearsals of the musical last week. She plays the role of Martha Bell, Pietje’s older sister. “Martha is a very sweet girl. She is a teacher and the ideal daughter,” explains Brigitte. “Martha thinks she’s quite chic, but she can also enjoy her Rotterdam names now and then.” Nijman is himself born and bred Rotterdam resident. “I speak generally civilized Dutch like Martha, but when I am angry or at home, the accent quickly comes up.”
Nijman has not read all eight books about Pietje Bell and his friends Sproet and Peentje, ‘only the first book.’ “I wanted to have some information about Martha, about who she was, and what kind of family she comes from. And her relationship with her brother and her parents.” According to Nijman, the musical is a self-contained story, although it is based on the books of writer Chris van Abkoude.
Nijman, who broke through with leading roles in musicals like ‘Grease,’ ‘Evita,’ and ‘Hamelin,’ has little time for other activities besides her role of Martha Bell. “Now and then during the rehearsal period I do some gigs with the groups I am in, ‘Airforce’ and ‘Heidi und die heino’s’. But such a role is very intensive, and I will play this role seven sometimes eight times a week, “she explains. “Then I think earlier: ‘what time can I go to bed.'”
In addition to Nijman, Eric Beekes (Aunt Cato), Johnny Kraaijkamp, Jr. (Jozef Geelman) and Kiki Classen (Mother Bell) also play a leading role in the musical. On October 19 ‘Pietje Bell’ will premiere in the Nieuwe Luxor Theater in Rotterdam.