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the things that pass

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duration 2:10
premiere 16 Sep 2016

After The hidden force, Ivo van Hove made a second adaptation of a novel by Couperus: The things that pass, this time a coproduction with Toneelhuis (Antwerp).

Directing The hidden force, Ivo van Hove got rid of the image that had been stuck to Couperus since the 1970s. Not a costume drama in The Hague, no tempo dulu (the good old days). But he did get straight to the core of this visionary novel: the culture of the west, irreconcilable with that of the east.

The second project is based on the majestic psychological novel Old people and the things that pass (1906). Couperus imagined an ‘appalling and dreadful tragedy’. We see how a hushed-up murder of passion in the Dutch East Indies continues to have a devastating influence on the family of the elderly Ottilie and Takma. The hushing up of their adulterous relationship and the murder of Ottilie’s husband leave deep traces in the consecutive generations, who are trapped in an unresolved past.

Lot and Elly are the youngest members of this doomed family. They hope to be able to free themselves from the stranglehold of The Hague, but arrive back home disillusioned after their honeymoon in Italy. There is no escaping this family that is damaged by horrible secrets that should never become known.

Just like in The hidden force, Couperus shows that he is far ahead of his time. He paints the portrait of a modern family that does not cohere and is literally spread out to all the corners of the world. The family members struggle with their lustfulness, their faith, dreams of material happiness and mutual jealousy. A family where almost nobody dares to give in to their deepest wishes and desires, to be who they really are.

‘They all wait for it to end, but it continues. Their suffering makes their children suffer, and their children’s children. Sometimes they lump together and pass through the room like a procession of ghosts. These ghosts from the past kill every bit of hope.’ - NRC ****

'Nachlesen lässt sich also nur auf Niederländisch, und das ist schade. Denn Ivo van Hoves Arbeit in der Maschinenhalle der ehemaligen Zeche Zweckel in Gladbeck stellt Couperus als einen Autor mit aktuellem Potenzial und zeitlos relevanten Themen vor. (...) Der Regisseur Ivo van Hove bringt die von Koen Tachelet eingerichtete Textfassung in einen spannenden, psychologisch ausgefeilten Erzählfluss, der ganz aus dem wunderbar lockeren und zugleich intensiven Ensemblespiel der Toneelgroep Amsterdam entwickelt wird.' - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting

'Erzähltheater von großer Eleganz, das um seine Stärke weiß: den Menschen eine Geschichte zu erzählen.'- Süddeutsche Zeitung

'heftiger Applaus für eine starke Regie und intensives Spiel' - RuhrNachrichten

'Das Ensemble der Toneelgroep Amsterdam schafft es, jedem der unterschiedlichen Charaktere eine ganz individuelle, anrührende Stimme zu geben, die die Aufführung zu einem Meisterwerk des Illusionstheaters macht.' - Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

Ivo van Hove about The things that pass

‘Hasn’t the family lasted long enough? That is the lamentation of Lot in The things that pass. At the end, sick and tired of a life that hasn’t been lived, he comes to a shocking conclusion: ‘A different time will come. A different generation. A time will come when people leave each other, torment each other, and still think it can’t be otherwise, that it is fine, because it is what needs to happen.’ In Louis Couperus’s The Hague, it is impossible to follow your real desires, impossible to be yourself. It is a world of wandering men and women in a prison-like society. A large choir. A swansong. Couperus rouses us. This world needs to be changed!’




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