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Ivo van Hove's Epic Shakespeare Adaptation KINGS OF WAR Comes to BAM This Weekend

Ivo Van Hove and Toneelgroep Amsterdam return to BAM with the US Premiere of their epic Shakespeare adaptation, KINGS OF WAR, running tonight, November 3, through November 6, 2016 at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Ave). Tickets start at $30.

KINGS OF WAR features translation by Rob Klinkenberg, adaptation by Bart van den Eynde and Peter van Kraaij, dramaturgy by Peter van Kraaij, design and lighting by Jan Versweyveld, music by Eric Sleichim, costumes by An D'Huys, and video by Tal Yarden. The production is in Dutch with English titles.

Acclaimed director Ivo Van Hove returns to BAM with Toneelgroep Amsterdam and his second epic Shakespeare adaptation. Kings of War combines Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III into a single, penetrating play about the perils of leadership. It lays bare the political mechanisms of powerful men and exposes the dichotomy between national interests and self-importance. Henry V is an ambitious, yet inexperienced monarch, eager to prove his worth; Henry VI, an ineffectual ruler who fails to reconcile warring factions; and Richard III, an egocentric despot.

Van Hove and designer Jan Versweyveld transform the theater into a modern-day war room. Onstage cameras capture backroom dealings and a rousing battle cry is projected on screen and delivered via national broadcast. The interplay of live action and video reveals the disparate ways in which war is waged--from an air-conditioned room to a blighted street corner. The four-and-a-half hour dynastic drama "combines epic sweep and incisive detail, hurtling forward with the velocity of a dark political thriller" (Financial Times).

Ivo Van Hove began his career as a stage director in 1981, producing and directing plays he wrote himself, before working with various esteemed theater companies and becoming general director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in 2001. Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the Netherlands' largest repertory company, produces a diverse roster of contemporary international theater. Van Hove's many accolades include an Obie Award for Best Production for More Stately Mansions and Hedda Gabler and a 2015 Olivier Award for A View from the Bridge. This past year, he helmed Broadway productions of A View from the Bridge and The Crucible, along with Lazarus at the New York Theater Workshop. BAM previously presented the van Hove-directed productions Antigone (2015 Next Wave), Angels in America (2014 Next Wave), Roman Tragedies (2012 Next Wave), Cries and Whispers (2011 Next Wave), and Opening Night (2008 Next Wave).

Photo Credit: Jan Versweyveld


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