Kings of War
Eight years after the sensational Roman Tragedies, Ivo van Hove returns with his incredible theatrical machine to present another Shakespearian trilogy.
The Belgian master injects fury and flash into Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III, three sovereigns caught in the turmoil of power, part of the same dynasty as the current sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, our official head of state. An impressive event.
Three eras, three reigns. The transformation of Henry V, the bigotry of Henry VI, the thirst for power of Richard III. A gripping saga set against a backdrop of war, Shakespeare’s history plays are admirably condensed and focused on the fundament question of how to govern. Ensconced in a war room, the monarchs engage in intrigue and backroom dealings, subterfuge and assassinations, until their downfall. Performed on a vast labyrinthine stage where video screens broadcast live war footage, these classics are more than ever strongly rooted in our times. Thrilling theatre presented by fourteen dazzling actors and five musicians playing live. Truly great art.
Produced by Toneelgroep Amsterdam
Written by Shakespeare
Directed by Ivo van Hove
Performed by Hélène Devos + Jip van den Dool + Fred Goessens + Janni Goslinga + Aus Greidanus jr. + Marieke Heebink + Robert de Hoog + Hans Kesting + Ramsey Nasr + Chris Nietvelt + Harm Duco Schut + Bart Slegers + Eelco Smits + Leon Voorberg
Translated by Rob Klinkenberg
Adaptation and Dramaturgy Peter Van Kraaij
Adaptation Bart Van den Eynde
Set and Lighting Design Jan Versweyveld
Composer Eric Sleichim
Contratenor Steve Dugardin
Musicians BL!NDMAN [brass] : Max Van den Brand + Charlotte van Passen + Daniel Quiles Cascant + Daniel Ruibal Ortigueira
Costume Design An D’Huys
Video Tal Yarden
Direction Assistant Nina de la Parra + Olivier Diepenhorst
Dramaturgy Assistant Thomas Lamers
Set Design Assistant Bart Van Merode + Pascal Leboucq
Video Assistant Rodrik Biersteker
Lighting Design Assistant Trent Suidgeest
Sound Design Assistant Finn Kruyning
Casting Advice Hans Kemna
Head of Technique & Production Department Wolf-Götz Schwörer
Co-commissioners Barbican (London) + Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse (Paris) + Wiener Festwochen (Wien)
Co-produced by BL!INDMAN (Brussels) + Holland Festival (Amsterdam) + Muziektheater Transparant (Antwerp)
Supported by Rabobank Amsterdam
Private producer Harry + Marijke van den Bergh
Presented in association with Théâtre Denise-Pelletier
Written by Diane Jean
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Wiener Festwochen, Wien, on June 5, 2015
Shakespeare + Ivo van Hove (Amsterdam)
As the head of Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001, the Belgian director Ivo van Hove has enjoyed a spectacular career.
With complex stagings imbued with piercing clarity, choices of works that reflect our current world order and his brilliant way of breathing new life into the classics, he has won over audiences in both Europe and America. He turns upside down our perceptions of writers as diverse as Duras, Schiller and Chekhov, and is very much at ease in blending together cinema and theatre. His innovative theatrical vision is rich in symbolism, with a strong predilection for Shakespeare (Macbeth, Richard II, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra).
Ivo van Hove opened the 2016 Avignon Festival with a phenomenal stage presentation, his ruthless vision of Visconti’s 1969 film The Damned, performed by the Comédie Française. He also shows up where least expected, namely the opera: Lulu by Alban Berg and Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle. His recent presentation of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge marked his extraordinary Broadway début, and was rewarded with two Tony Awards in 2016. He works closely with the New York Theater Workshop, where he has directed nine plays over the past 16 years. Reworking classics of both theatre and cinema, he has made theatrical adaptations of films by Bergman, Cassavetes, Pasolini and Antonioni. He also directed the stage musical of Lazarus, one of David Bowie’s last works.