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Kings of War

ITA, 2015

Kings of War blends Shakespeare?s Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III in one explosive play about how power is seized and exercised. The kings appearing in the play are political leaders: they alone are masters of life and death, wage wars or perish if unable to fight. Shakespeare portrays the psychology of rulers but also confronts them with the machinations of their courtiers and counsellors. Kings of War exposes the mechanisms of decision-making in times of political crisis and subjects them to the conflicts arising from the trade-off between national interests and the preservation of personal power. Henry V, a hesitant and inexperienced ruler, marries a French princess to ensure peace. And yet England tumbles into chaos. Neither is Henry VI able to conciliate the warring factions and as a consequence becomes witness to the downfall of his country. Richard III is viewed as the embodiment of evil; indeed, he deliberately sabotages the fragile peace that might have followed in the wake of the War of the Roses. As a leader striving for absolute rule, he lacks sensitivity and only craves ultimate power for himself.

Ivo van Hove: director
William Shakespeare: author
Bart Van den Eynde: script
Peter Van Kraaij: script, dramaturgy
Rob Klinkenberg: translation
Jan Versweyveld: scenography, light design
Eric Sleichim: sound concept and composition

BL!NDMAN [vox]
Steve Dugardin: countertenor

BL!NDMAN [brass]
Charlotte Van Passen
Daniel Quiles Cascant
Daniel ruibal Ortigueira
Konstantin Koev
Nicolas Villers

Toneelgroep Amsterdam
Alwin Pulinckx, Aus Greidanus jr., Chris Nietvelt, Eelco Smits, Fred Goessens, Frieda Pittoors, Hans Kesting, Hélène Devos, Hugo Koolschijn, Ramsey Nasr, Robert de Hoog, Roeland Fernhout
Harm Duco Schut: guest actor

Tal Yarden: video
An D’Huys: costumes

Kings of War a coproduction of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Holland Festival, Muziektheater Transparant & BL!NDMAN commissioned by Barbican London & Théâtre National de Chaillot