THE EFTELING SPECIAL

Broadcasted on Dutch TV in May 1978

         Writen by Birgitte 

 

General information about the special  

In 1978 Kate made her debut on Dutch television in a program that has gotten to be known as “De Efteling Special”, which was broadcasted on 11 May 1978 at 19.20 hours on Channel 1 (Ned 1). The amusement park De Efteling served as a backdrop for six songs of The Kick Inside: Moving, Wuthering Heights, Them Heavy People, Strange Phenomena, The Man With The Child In His Eyes and The Kick Inside.

 

 

Why the Efteling Special?

Early 1978 the Haunted Castle is completed and the opening is scheduled on 10 May that year. De Efteling never built such a costly attraction before (it costed 1.6 million Euros at the time) and wanted to promote it as much as possible. The designer appeared  in a popular talk show and in April a documentary featuring the Haunted Castle was made by filmmaker Rien van Wijk, who was eager to shoot in the latest attraction before it officially opened. Kate, who just had a big hit in the Netherlands with Wuthering Heights, made her debut on Dutch television in this special. Her popularity was used to draw the attention to the Haunted Castle (and the popularity of De Efteling could draw the attention to Kate).

 

Many people (wrongly) assume that De Efteling is a gothic themepark. This confusion is understandable, as the Haunted Castle (a Gothic/Celtic building according to the designer) was prominently in view in the special.

Moving was filmed on the square in from of the castle.

When you enter the castle you will clearly see that Strange Phenomena was recorded in the dark passages of the castle (and under the chandelier with the hairy arm). 

Wuthering Heights has Kate dancing around inside the main show (my friends and I almost fainted when we saw that. Now everything can be seen much closer than during a visit to De Efteling).

Them Heavy People was filmed on three different locations: inside the main show in the attick (with the three judges. You will never get a better look at them then in the special), at the entrance of the main show with the Oriental Ghost (Kate’s head can be seen inside the glass bowl) and outside on the square before the entrance of the cave which is part of the attraction The Indian Water-lillies (I can highly recommend that one, it’s my favourite attraction in De Efteling together with the Haunted Castle).

The Man With The Child In His Eyes was recorded at the side of the lake of the Gondolettas (boats).

The Kick Inside was filmed on the lake (I presume inside one of the Gondoletta boats with its roof removed).

The infamous tombstone

The tombstone at the start of the special is a bit of a mystery. It appears only a few seconds in the special and has never been seen again. Fans in the Netherlands have phoned De Efteling to ask what happened to it, but they got the answer they didn't know.

 

This year (2003) I was suprised to see the tombstone standing at the entrance of the Haunted Castle: 

It turns out De Efteling has kept it in storage for all those years only to surprise (and delight) us with it on the 25th anniversary of the Haunted Castle. A cool tribute indeed!

The year 2002 marked the 50th anniversary of De Efteling and naturally this did not pass unnoticed. Throughout the Fairytale Forest there were signs informing you which year the attractions opened and some trivia (in rhyme, like all permanent markers in the Fairytale Forest). To my delight (and surprise, I must admit) the sign at the entrance of the Haunted Castle read:

1978

Ghosts, ghouls and skeletons try to keep you at bay

But in 1978 they couldn’t scare Kate Bush away

 

I found it good to see that the park has not forgotten about Kate. In a book that was published last year (De Efteling, Chronicle of a Fairytale) a picture of Kate in front of the Haunted Castle can be found. Under it the filmmaker Rien van Wijk comments that “the beautiful Kate fits perfectly in the Haunted Castle”.  

I am sure that the tombstone could be found in or around the Haunted Castle if it had been in the possession of De Efteling. Who knows…it may be lying in Kate’s backyard. But that’s another fairytale!

 

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR THROUGH THE  CASTLE!