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The Damned

ITA ensemble, 2022

Les Damnés had its world premiere in 2016 as the opening performance of the Festival d’Avignon in the majestic setting of the Cour d’Honneur in the former Pope’s castle. In this theatre adaptation of a film script by Italian cinematographer Luchino Visconti, we see a family of rich German industrialists become fatally corrupted through their collaboration with the Nazi party that has come to power.Les Damnés was received with raving superlatives and after it had finished in Paris, continued on to play in London, Antwerp, and New York. The Guardian called it an ‘eerily prophetic masterstroke’. The New York Times spoke of ‘a rich and merciless production’.

Ivo van Hove on The Damned:“It tells the story of the venomous alliance between politicians at the highest level and a family running the allmighty steel industry. Visconti situates his story at a pivotal moment in our European history: the rise of fascism in Germany. I think we should look very closely at these mechanisms, because they could be relevant for how we deal with major issues these days. In big, lavish scenes, The Damned gives us a look into the abyss of what humans are capable of and how easy this family solidifies with an extreme right wing regime just for financial gain. The Damned shows the rise and fall of an influential greedy family and an immoral political system. Or is it most of all a story that makes us think about the world we live in today?”

Ivo van Hove: direction
by Luchino Visconti, Nicola Badalucco and Enrico Medioli
Bart Van den Eynde: dramaturgy
Jan Versweyveld: scenography and lighting
An D’Huys: costumes
Eric Sleichim: music and sounddesign
Tal Yarden: video
Olivier Diepenhorst: assistant director
Comedie Française, BL!NDMAN: co-production

ITA ensemble
Majd Mardo, Marieke Heebink, Steven Van Watermeulen, Hans Kesting, Aus Greidanus jr., Hugo Koolschijn, Maarten Heijmans, Janni Goslinga, Achraf Koutet, Ilke Paddenburg, Bart Slegers, Maria Kraakman, Chris Nietvelt, Bart Bijnens, and others

BL!NDMAN [sax]
Pieter Pellens
Hendrik Pellens
Piet Rebel
Sebastiaan Cooman