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jan versweyveld

Stage photo by Jan Versweyveld

My dear Gunsteling you don't want to see and must have seen

Assault and finally rape of a 14-year-old girl by a bonkers vet. An enjoyable evening at the theatre is different, until the applause of this arguably (once again) best Dutch theatre production of the year relieves you of the harsh struggle. Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and director Ivo van Hove emphasise that both 49-year-old vet Kurt and his minion, the farmer's daughter, are heavily traumatised... 

Theatre innovators in the museum: a journey through the minds of Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld

Theatre and film have close ties. Many classic plays have been filmed. One of the merits of Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld is that they have reversed that relationship. Film as the starting point for their performances. Their radically innovative work is the starting point for the exhibitions - designed by themselves - about theatre about film about theatre. In 13 venues... 

Chosen to enjoy magisterial Hans Kesting

The restless head in front of the torso, fists nervously searching for grip under the pale blue jumper. His life a relentless affliction of generations of oppression under factory labour, alcoholism and domestic violence. And deep love nonetheless, between this tormented father and son. Until almost the end of the monologue "Who killed my father?", the high bed remains untouched. Only then do they learn... 

Fred Goessens leaves ITA: 'In every group there is such a reliable lobster as me'

Fred Goessens has been dead, but is still alive. As uncompromising as ever. The Netherlands' most reliable actor makes an interim will after twenty-two years with Toneelgroep Amsterdam. 'I had shit on everything' This interview was published 10 years ago in TheaterMaker, the trade magazine for the theatre sector. As Fred Goessens is now leaving ITA, the company where he once... 

Maria Kraakman: "You have Couperus before and after Bas Heijne"

In recent years, the artistic director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Ivo van Hove, made three performances of works by Couperus. In three short interviews, I look back at the last part, Little Souls. Despite the long meandering sentences and the romantic, sometimes very passive characters, this book (or actually it's four books)is a timeless masterpiece that, as far as I'm concerned, all... 

Jan Peter Gerrits: loyal louse on Couperus adaptation Toneelgroep Amsterdam

In the final part of 'books of little souls', the once disgraced Constance sits in the dark and draughty country house where her reluctant parents-in-law used to live. Constance married their only child, Baron Henri van der Welcke, against their wishes. Constance's and Henri's son Addy is the only thing that connects these two people. Love for each other is never... 

'Had Couperus been born 10 years later, he wouldn't have needed all that packaging'

Director Ivo van Hove chose the 'books of little souls' cycle as the conclusion of the Couperus triptych at Toneelgroep Amsterdam. He previously directed 'Silent Power' (2015) and 'The things that pass' (2016). Dramaturg Koen Tachelet adapted Couperus' Magnum Opus for the theatre. The books 'The Little Souls', 'Late Life', 'Twilight of Souls' and 'Sacred Knowing' together form the cycle 'The Books of... 

Holland Festival presents scorching Salome #HF17

Herod has not yet uttered his cry "Kill this woman!" or his soldiers roughly lift Salome onto their shoulders and hurl her into hell. - The fancy drawing room, which had been turned into a ruin, was visible through a see-through hatch for almost the entire opera. Salome's blood-soaked dress seems to flare up for a moment, but then - pats! - the... 

7 reasons why you should invest in Holland Festival 2017 #hf17

Ruth Mackenzie has achieved an enormous amount in the short time she has been boss of Holland Festival. I've experienced the festival now since the late 1990s and watched it evolve from something very personal and sometimes obscure (under Ivo van Hove), to an ethereal feast of sizzling aesthetics (with Pierre Audi), to what it... 

Amsterdam Prize 2015, local celebration of artists with international allure

At the Amsterdam Compagnietheater last night, the Amsterdam Prize of the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts was awarded. A 020 party, then, where 'tout art and culture' festively dressed up to put their own cultural gems in the limelight. The biblical torrential rain outside by no means stopped AFK director Clayde Menzo from sketching a sunny future picture of Amsterdam's cultural life in 2020. Old... 

Van Hove's 'Kings of War' is an intriguing trip

Power and leadership, can one exist without the other? Toneelgroep Amsterdam presented a sampling of three types of leaders on Sunday 14 June at the Holland Festival with 'Kings of War'. Three historical plays by Shakespeare about the struggle for power between the Houses of Lancaster and York together provided the fuel for this performance. With large black letters on a white... 

Amsterdam theatre duo doubly nominated for UK awards

Will Ivo and Jan join this impressive list? Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Joan Littlewood, John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, Peggy Ashcroft, Harold Pinter, Peter Hall, Judi Dench, Alan Bennett, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alan Ayckbourn, Maggie Smith, Gillian Lynne and Michael Frayn. All big names of British theatre. International celebrities, all of whom have been awarded an Olivier, say the British... 

Sallie Harmsen and Joris Smit in Tasso (photo Kurt van der Elst)

Drama about art: to do or not to do? Ivo van Hove and Sallie Harmsen think so.

The National Theatre will premiere Blueprint for an Even Better Life on 8 November 2014, which addresses, among other things, the position of artists in society. A theme that also featured in their recent Tasso, and in Toneelgroep Amsterdam's successful The Fountainhead. Is the subject of art back on the theatre agenda due to the changed cultural politics of the past... 

Der Schatzgräber II: Van Hove exposes core and weaknesses

"That fairytale world has never been my world," director Ivo van Hove declared before the premiere of Schreker's fairytale opera Der Schatzgräber. Remarkable, as Van Hove and his regular scenographer Jan Versweyveld were previously responsible at De Nederlandse Opera for Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Janáček's The Makropulos Case - also fairy tales rather than grand dramatic works.

Tchaikovsky's last opera is all about Princess Iolanta. Everyone knows she is blind, but keeps...

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5-hour marathon Roman Tragedies favourite with spectators Toneelgroep Amsterdam

Photo: jan Versweyveld We were somewhat mildly ironic about it, but hats off, meanwhile, to Toneelgroep Amsterdam's PR department and the audience, who responded remarkably well to the 'choose the reprise' campaign the company launched a few weeks back. We have the hard numbers we feared we would never see. And they are credible. We quote the press release:.... 

#HF11: They're going to make another big cut to the Russians at Toneelgroep Amsterdam

Cologne and Paris may not have been built in a day, but it took less than three days to fly to the moon. A warped comparison to say that a show that rattles three days before its premiere can turn out to be an unimaginable hit on the premiere itself. So something like that could happen with The Russians, the latest show 

French theatre nerds do droll version of the Big Bang at reopening Rotterdam Schouwburg

Ok, a few people might have been a tad disappointed. Who had hoped that Rotterdam's theatre would reopen with real bang, after the extremely successful upgrade of the interior by scrap artist Jan Versweyveld (suspended ceiling, marble and carpet on the stairs). But that, of course, cannot happen. After all, the Rotterdam Schouwburg only does bangers when International Choice boss Annemie Vanackere is there... 

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