IN THE GARDEN of The Castle “de Torentjes” at the base of the St Pietersberg, thick cables strewn about. Technicians run back and forth. The beautiful building serves as office/residence of André Rieu, who last week was named as the most selling male artist of the world, regarding the sale of concert tickets.

The day after the release of this big news, Rieu’s house was transformed into a TV-set. No, not to conduct for yet again another interview: today the residence is changed into the set of “Flikken Maastricht” [Cops-Maastricht] Episode 3 can be viewed effective 30 October. Rieu plays a guest roll in the successful TROS series, as himself.

In between the scenes, Rieu appears in the kitchen. Boxes with vlaai are found on the kitchen counter, while son Pierre is preparing the coffee. “I find this extremely interesting to be doing”, says Rieu about the acting. The learning of lines was no obstacle for this particular artist. “For my own shows I too have to prepare for my text. I am pretty good at that” he says with confidence.
Members of the recording team walk in and out; all in all it gives the Rieu home a hospitable atmosphere. “We are respectful of one another” says Rieu, who when he heard about the idea, immediately said “Come on over this way”. And so he has to go to the next scene.

SON PIERRE ADDS: “It was entirely the TROS’ idea, and we immediately thought it to be a good idea. André has also played a role in Neighours. During our tour in Australia, at the end of each concert we played a medley of Australian songs, amongst them the theme song of Neighbours. It so happened that the producer of that series was in the audience. He found it all to be very exciting and asked if André would do a guest appearance. Now, that was something!! There too he played himself: a resident of Ramsy Street surprises his wife, after a quarrel, with an appearance of André.

The Rieu family did not really know too much about “Flikken-Maastricht”. “We are seldom home and when we are, we do not watch a lot of TV” says Pierre. “But I happen to obtain the first two series, and viewed all the episodes right away. I found them to be very exiting”.

He is very brief about the role of his father. “I am not allowed to reveal too much, but one of our employees, Bruno, played by Victor Braends, is supposedly involved in a case. Part of the story takes place during our Vrijthof concerts”. The recordings are still very fresh in the mind of Victor Rieneir. “At a certain moment the director was on stage giving directions to the public. Unbelievable, so there you are than with 14000 extras. But this for Rieneir was an absolute must in order to be able to record an episode with Rieu. “He is world renowned and belongs to Maastricht. Just like the time when I thought there had to be an episode of Baantje (jobs) around AJAX. And that eventually was also successful”.

About last week’s news: so pronounced; not U2, or the Rolling Stones
"No, Rieu sells the Most Concert Tickets."

To the actor, Flikken is a more challenging role that “Baantje.” “Because you can get deeper into the characters. With “Baantje” everything was clear from the very beginning. It always started with a corps and in the end “De Cocque” always solved the mystery. Fledder will never solve a case. That was an excellent formula, and as an actor you can do more with the character of Floris Wolffs. I find the second series of Flikken-Maastricht more interesting then the first. You grow more into your role and the balance between the characters is better. Besides, the first series was more of a police plot, whereas the second involves more around people.”

On the set it seems that André has been part of Flikken-Maastricht for years. At lunchtime he pleasantly joins the crew at the mobile canteen, where eating is done on simple fold-up benches and tables, out in the open. After the meal, the long awaited vlaai appears.
Angela Scheijf, who plays the role of Eve Dongen, is openly enjoying the recordings around the Rieu home. “These specials are always very welcome. Maastricht is sort of a playground and we regularly have action scenes with stunts and guns. I find it extremely nice to be working with André Rieu. He is extremely professional even though forty people invade his home. I played myself once in a VPRO-series for channel 7, and I know how difficult that is. He does it very well”.

According to Rieneir, Flikken-Maastricht can be around for a long time. The crime is unfortunately inexhaustible. There are so many variances. One of the permanent roles will not survive. No, not mine nor Angela’s, but cannot say more. I find it a good choice, and it affords us more possibilities.

*NOTE: Vlaai (pronounced Fly) is a pie or tart consisting of a pastry and filling. Originally Vlaai was created in
Weert, Limburg and is therefore also known as Weertervlaai. It is a typical product from the southern regions of the Netherlands, but nowadays generally available all through the country and in parts of Belgium and Germany near to the border of the Netherlands. It is available in many different varieties of fruit fillings (cherry, apricot, plum, gooseberry, apple with raisins), a crumbled butter and sugar mix ("kruimelvlaai") and a cooked rice and custard porridge ("rijstevlaai").

Thank you as always, for John's hard work in ©Translating this for us and to Ineke and Ruud for sending it!!