An illusionist asks a woman in the audience to join him on stage to assist in a disappearing trick. Her husband consents, smiling uneasily. But the woman does not return, and so the man starts searching for her. He has no alternative but to enter the illusionist’s magical world, doing all he can to find his lost love. His loss transports him into a world where relationships are turned on their head: women multiply and then vanish; his wife no longer recognises him; and a strange woman treats him as if he were her spouse. Looking for the facts, he finds himself in a surreal labyrinth. He is trapped in a chaotic universe where illusion and reality are completely intertwined and nothing is as it seems.



This tale of lost love is also a homage the fantastical imagination in theatre. The audience is carried off by surreal, film-like scenes of dance duets, comical acts, magic tricks and pure slapstick. Ahlbom has been fascinated for many years in illusionism, and this play is both an outcome of his love for conjuring and visual trickery and an inquiry into illusionism as a valid theatrical instrument. How do you make illusionism your central theatrical form? How do you couple it with content? And what kind of theatrical world does this combination result yield.


Vielfalt marked Ahlbom’s breakthrough to wider audiences. It was both a critical and popular success and was selected for performance at the 2007 Dutch Theatre Festival. Vielfalt was performed 91 times in the Netherlands and 39 times abroad.

In the media

“Vielfalt is pure magic. Everything’s so bizarre and conventional at the same time in Ahlbom’s world that you are drawn into it as you watch on in astonishment.”
De Volkskrant
“There’s much to be admired about the tricks and the high-quality physical interplay, but more than anything else Vielfalt is very funny.”
NRC Next
“An abundance of forms, styles and genres tumble over one another. … Ahlbom’s Vielfalt is a poetic composition.”
Het Financiële Dagblad
“It’s a world of gorgeous cinematic scenes packed with moments of poignancy and humour. … Ahlbom s a master at gripping the audience’s attention.”
8 weekly
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Concept and Direction: Jakop Ahlbom
Cast: Jakop Ahlbom, Inez Almeida, Judith Hazeleger/Klara Alexova, Kelly Hirina/Gwen Langenberg, Silke Hundertmark/Ariadna Rubio/Anne van Balen, Reinier Schimmel, Irene Slotboom/Marie Groothof/Sofieke de Kater Final direction: Jeroen van den Berg Set design: Daniel Ament Sound design: Wim Conradi
Costumes: Susann Rittermann Set makers: Jochen Plass and Olivier Louter Set Decoration: Carin Heslinga Illusion adviser: Woedy Woet Technicians: Rob Galdermans, John Valkering, Gertjan van de Geer, Dirk Houthoff, Marijn Hubregtse, Colin Kassies
Management and Sales: Wilma Kuite/ Alles voor de Kunsten
Production: Meeke Beumer/ Alles voor de Kunsten
Stage photography: Stephan van Hesteren
Poster and Graphic design: Arjan Benning (Photo), Studio Niels Megens

Thanks to: Het Veem Theater, Ko van den Bosch, Daphne Richter

Made possible by financial support from: Performing Arts Fund, VSB Fonds, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts

Performance dates

No current performances

Première: 28 September 2006, Toneelschuur, Haarlem

Performance periods:

Season2006/ 2007
Dutch tour: 19 Sept to 17 Nov 2006
17 to 20 May, Festival aan de Werf, Utrecht

Season 2007/ 2008
Dutch tour: 6 Dec 2007 to 14 Feb 2008

Season 2008/ 2009
Belgium tour: 3 and 19 March

Season 2009/ 2010
19 to 21 Nov Zürich (CH) Zuricher Theaterspektakel
21, 22 Nov Stockholm (SW)

Season 2010/ 2011
Dutch tour: 23 March to 13 April 2011
Swedish tour: 19 Sep to 10 Oct  2010
17 Oct Bochum (DE) Schauspielhaus

Season 2011/ 2012
Dutch tour: 12 to 21 Sep 2011
International tour (Denmark & Belgium)

International performances