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Published on Aug 28, 2017
Rave reviews in the international press and a stellar cast including Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Hans Kesting, Maria Kraakman, Marieke Heebink, Eelco Smits and Chris Nietvelt. A performance of almost six hours’ duration that does not flag for a second, partly because the audience is free to wander around the theatre, mingle with the actors, enjoy refreshments and interact via social media. This is Roman Tragedies, three Shakespeare plays melded together by Ivo van Hove to form a spectacular full-length examination of the workings of government and political intrigue. Take your place on the stage and let this astonishing multimedia show unfold around you.
Roman Tragedies was first presented as part of the 2007 Holland Festival. Since then, the Toneelgroep Amsterdam production has toured the world, playing to full houses in New York, Adelaide, London, Montréal, Vienna, Avignon, Quebec, Zurich and Barcelona. It now comes back to where it all began with the grand finale in Amsterdam’s Carré Theater.
The three Roman Tragedies reveal the political game in all its facets. Coriolanus takes place during the rise of the Roman Republic. The eponymous hero refuses to submit to the changed political constellation. He defies the masses and their new representatives and is banished. Ultimately he takes up arms against Rome, his own city. Julius Caesar acquires power because, by contrast, he is a virtuoso in manipulating the masses. A number of politicians fear the advent of a dictatorship and remove him in order to save the democracy, but by then it is already too late to reverse the changed political climate. In Antony & Cleopatra, global politics and the passionate love between the Roman Antony and the Egyptian Cleopatra become intertwined. Antony’s inner conflict between public responsibility and his heart’s desire leads to a bloodbath.