husbands and wives
premiere 19 Jun 2016
One day you look up and it’s bad. Jack and Sally are getting divorced. We don’t want to make a big thing about it, they claim. It is a mutual decision, we’re both fine. But for their friends Gabe and Judy, it is an incredible shock. Is our marriage as good as we think it is, they wonder. Jack and Sally’s decision triggers a chain of events that profoundly uproots the lives of these four people.
Woody Allen wrote and directed Husbands and wives in the period just before his own relationship with Mia Farrow failed. Scenes in which the story develops are alternated by documentary scenes in which the characters are interviewed separately and look back on what happened. A fight between the urge for freedom and the need for security breaks loose. Husbands and wives confronts us with questions we all ask ourselves at some point. When is a relationship over? And how to go on? Do you cling to what you have or be open to something completely new? How well do you know yourself, your partner, your friends? Can you be lonelier in a relationship than when you are alone?
At a certain point, Gabe says: Life is not a Hollywood film. It’s a foreign film. It is not a coincidence that Husbands and wives is in many ways similar to Scenes from a marriage, the big divorce story by Woody Allen’s mentor and admired example Ingmar Bergman.
‘Wonderful theatre examining the fragility of love’ - Trouw ★★★★★
‘Marvellous to see such consummate actors exercising their comic talent’ - NRC Handelsblad ★★★★
'The combination of text and acting style brings out the best in this excellent ensemble. (...) Wonderful theatre examining the fragility of love and the pain of growing older' - Trouw ★★★★★
'The stage version of Husbands and Wives easily rivals the film' - Noordhollands Dagblad
'The pleasure that the cast take in their work shines through in scenes that are as well constructed as the mechanism of a Swiss clock.' - Parool ★★★★
‘I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much in the Rabozaal. (…) Should I say it? I found the play better than the film’ - De Groene Amsterdammer
'The hilarious ups and downs of married life' - De Telegraaf ★★★★
Simon Stone about Husbands and wives
‘Woody Allen lifts the banality of modern relationships up to a Shakespearean level. Nobody is better than him when it comes to portraying the reality of romance, with all its flaws. In Husbands and wives, he adds an air of fateful breakdown.
It becomes Woody Allen, but in the form of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The relationship as a nightmare, which can only be laughed at – as long as that is possible. Because in the end, you’re there in the rain without an umbrella. All the others are happy, or at least they have found a way to be unhappy in a happy way. But you are still waiting for something there, drenched, surprised, alone.’