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the good hope

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duration n.n.b.
premiere 13 May 2020


Simon Stone has cornered the market on the adaptation of established classics. He updates from the inside. For each piece, he goes in search of its inalienable core. With fast, razor-sharp, cinematic dialogue, he translates the basic problems into a conflict that plays out in our time. It gives his pieces a topical relevance. At the same time, they are a testimony to a human condition that has remained unchanged over the centuries.

This season, Stone will be working with The good hope (Op hoop van zegen) by Herman Heijermans. This ‘play of the sea' from 1900 is probably the most staged piece of all time in the Netherlands. In its time, it was a sharp social indictment. Heijermans wanted to force passage of a law that would prevent greedy ship owners looking for an insurance payout from sending unseaworthy ships into the water. But the play is also a tragedy of fate. The isolated fishing community has no choice: they are the prisoners of the sea. Fishing is their only chance of survival. The sea giveth (fish), the sea taketh away (lives). With the most famous and proverbial sentence in the play: “The fish comes at a high price”.

The good hope will premiere in deSingel (Antwerp) and will be shown in Amsterdam in June as part of the Holland Festival.

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