at Amstel 56-58, Amsterdam, 1017 AC Netherlands
De Kleine Komedie is today the oldest theatre in Amsterdam, dating from 1788. Situated on the Amstel near the Halvemaansteeg, the building offers a stage for both upcoming and established Dutch talents. The theatre has 503 seats.History of the buildingThe first theatre built in Amsterdam was the Schouwburg of Van Campen on Keizersgracht 384 in 1637, which burned down in 1772. That theatre company then moved to the Leidseplein, where it built a theatre in 1774, the first Stadsschouwburg. That building burned down in 1892 (the present building was built in 1894), making De Kleine Komedie the oldest surviving theatre in Amsterdam.In 1784 Henry Hope of Hope & Co. purchased ground on the Amstel near the east side of the Halvemaansteeg in Amsterdam, together with his fellow banker friends Balthazar Elias Abbema, Pieter de Smeth, Henry Fizeaux, Jean Alexander Botereau, and Pieter Muilman. They commissioned the building to the architect Abraham van der Hart who completed it in 1788. The commissioners were all very influential men of Amsterdam who had far reaching connections. Henry Fizeaux was a banker who had close ties with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. He tried to raise funds for the American cause and shared revolutionary sympathies, though merchant tradition was to deny political preferences. The 'Patriotic' or 'Anti-Orange' sympathies of the directors Henry Fizeaux and Jean Alexander Botereau resulted in their stepping down in 1787 when the House of Orange was re-established. Orangist Henry Hope took over the running of the establishment until he fled the country before Napoleon's army in 1794.
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