Official Opening of The Amsterdam Storytelling Festival

Artists: Sahand Sahebdivani and Raphael Rodan



Duration: 30 min

Start: 20:00

End: 20:30

Location: Big Theater

Price: € 15.00 (the ticket includes both the opening performance and Silaba)


*Since we are in a theatre, we will ask for your COVID QR-code at the entrance


Time to reveal our masks..?

The masters of the stage Raphael Rodan and Sahand Sahebdivani will open The Amsterdam Storytelling Festival 2021 with a kaleidoscope of short stories and anecdotes, showing their true selves! Their performance will be accompanied by the enchanting music of Fuensanta Méndez.


All that, to excite you for the opening show by recent graduates of the Mezrab Storytelling School: Erik Sjøholm, Naomi Namutebi and Betal Özay.


 Show in English


After the show, join us for an exciting evening with vibrant live music and the mystery of masks. Let’s celebrate the opening of the festival together!

(Bring your own mask with you, the more extravagant, the better!)





ArtistS: Erik SjOholm, Naomi Namutebi, Betal Özay




Duration: 55 min

Start: 20:30

End: 21:30

Location: Big Theater

Price: € 15.00 (the ticket includes both the opening performance and Silaba)

*Since we are in a theatre, we will ask for your COVID QR-code at the entrance

About the show:


 “A storytelling show about an invisible journey”


A mother in Uganda sends away her lesbian daughter. A father from Turkey sails off to a rehab center to keep custody of his son. A little prince plays guitar and sings songs from a Finnish island. Together they discover the meaning of being accepted for who you really are.


We’re sitting in a boat together with three invisibles: Naomi Namutebi, Betal Özay, and Erik Sjøholm. Witness their healing journey as they sail between personal and mythological stories that ultimately bring them home. Will this journey make them visible again?





Naomi Namutebi (1995) was born in Uganda. She moved to the Netherlands in 2015, and has since worked with DEGASTEN in Amsterdam, performing in shows like: Back to back, and Let there be light. In 2017, she created her own show My name before Naomi, which told of her struggles coming to the Netherlands as an asylum seeker. She continues to perform it around the Netherlands. In storytelling, Naomi tells stories from her own life but also draws upon mythology and folklore. She uses her struggles to inspire others to speak from their heart.


Betal Özay (1980) had been telling stories at the courthouses as a lawyer but he had enough of that. So he found a way out and attended Mezrab Storytelling School in 2020. Betal likes to peel off all himself in front of the audiences about being a lawyer with weird cases, a citizen of a failing country, a husband who does not have a stable income. He definitely did not expect to celebrate his 40th birthday getting drunk under Covid-19 lockdown talking to his family through Zoom. So what’s next for him?


Erik Sjøholm (1992) is a nomadic singer-songwriter & storyteller from the Swedish speaking region of Finland who travels the world asking people “what’s the spark that gets you out of bed each morning?”. He’s fueled by the desire to connect and grow with other people, to get to know other realities, perspectives and ways of life and he finds art as the perfect meeting place. On stage he’s a dynamic and engaging performer, accompanying his fragile yet powerful singing voice with a nylon stringed Spanish guitar, mixing songs and stories while telling a narrative that highlights that spark of our everyday that makes life worth living.




Storytellers: Erik Sjøholm, Naomi Namutebi, Betal Özay

Directed by: Raphael Rodan

Written by: Erik Sjøholm, Naomi Namutebi, Betal Özay, Raphael Rodan




 Show in English