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© Jan Versweyveld

Kings of War

Shakespeare + Ivo van Hove

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


© Jan Versweyveld

Shakespeare + Ivo van Hove (Amsterdam)
Toneelgroep Amsterdam

As the head of Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001, the Belgian director Ivo van Hove has enjoyed a spectacular career.

Full biography