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the damned

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duration 2:15
premiere 18 Jun 2022

Van Hove's direction of Les Damnés (The Damned) with La Comédie-Française had its world premiere in 2016 as the opening performance of the Festival d'Avignon in the majestic setting of the Cour d'Honneur in the former Pope's castle. In this theatre adaptation of a film script by Italian cinematographer Luchino Visconti, we see a family of rich German industrialists become fatally corrupted through their collaboration with the Nazi party that has come to power.

Les Damnés was received with raving superlatives and after it had finished in Paris, continued on to play in London, Antwerp, and New York. The Guardian called it an “eerily prophetic masterstroke”. The New York Times spoke of “a rich and merciless production”.


'It tells the story of the venomous alliance between politicians at the highest level and a family running the allmighty steel industry. Visconti situates his story at a pivotal moment in our European history: the rise of fascism in Germany.

I think we should look very closely at these mechanisms, because they could be relevant for how we deal with major issues these days. In big, lavish scenes,

The Damned gives us a look into the abyss of what humans are capable of and how easy this family solidifies with an extreme right wing regime just for financial gain.

The Damned shows the rise and fall of an influential greedy family and an immoral political system. Or is it most of all a story that makes us think about the world we live in today?’

In the summer of 2022, the ITA ensemble will play this large-scale production in open air in the Amsterdamse Bostheater.



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