Battles and metamorphoses of a woman

Battles and metamorphoses of a woman
28 Sep '22 to 22 Dec '22
ITA-ensemble / Ivo van Hove

‘Heebink and Mardo play truly enchanting' – de Volkskrant

Édouard Louis gave Ivo van Hove an early opportunity to read his most recent work about his mother. Last year, Van Hove created Battles and metamorphoses of a woman with Marieke Heebink and Majd Mardo.

Location Dutch tour
Run time 90 minutes
Genre Theatre
Language Dutch

Battles and metamorphoses of a woman

One day, Édouard Louis finds a photo of his mother from twenty years ago. A happy young woman, full of hopes, full of dreams. But Édouard only knows his mother to be completely unhappy, trapped in the humdrum life of a housewife. What happened in those years since the photo was taken? This is the starting point of Édouard Louis' new book, which is adapted for the stage by ITA as a world premiere.

The work of Édouard Louis is radically personal. His novels are extremely autobiographical, but socially urgent too. He desires to give a voice to the working class, people that are rarely given any attention in literature or in theatre.
We see how, every day, his mother has to fight the dominant world of men, in which she is not allowed to pursue her talents and dreams. She is not even allowed to take driving lessons. It takes her twenty years to free herself from this oppression. She leaves her husband, leaves her old life behind and starts a new one in Paris.

After Who Killed My Father, the book about his father, Édouard Louis wrote a book about his mother. Hans Kesting previously played his father. Marieke Heebink now plays his mother. Édouard Louis himself is played by Majd Mardo.

Ivo van Hove about Battles and metamorphoses of a woman

“After his works in which violence in the main focus, Édouard Louis surprised me with a text in which tenderness sets the tone. The book describes the challenging battles of a woman trying to be herself, to make her own choices. But most of all, it is about the slow rapprochement between a son and his mother.”


Language NP Language no problem Marieke Heebink Marieke Heebink
Language NP Language no problem Majd Mardo Majd Mardo


de Volkskrant

‘And there she is: the mother, splendidly personified by Marieke Heebink'


‘The actors know how to find the underlying vulnerability of the characters in a few subtle scenes. Heebink in particular does a masterly job: in her role she traces with great precision the development of a woman who, despite decades of lovelessness, is never broken.'

De Standaard

‘The transformation of the mother, the cautious approach to her son, how she dares to speak about the future for the first time: in the finale the play touches your heart.'


Go backstage at the rehearsal process of Battles and metamorphoses of a woman and find out how the show is made.


based on the novel by Édouard Louis
direction, translation and adaptation Ivo van Hove
stage and light design Jan Versweyveld
costume design An d’Huys
music George Dhauw
dramaturgic advice Johan Reyniers
private producer Bertil van Kaam

with Marieke Heebink, Majd Mardo
direction assistant Erasmus Mackenna
stage design assistant Roel van Berckelaer
head of technical department Reyer Meeter
production Michiel van Schijndel, Eva Sol
head artistic bureau Ulrike Bürger-Bruijs
technical staff Kevin Cuyvers (1st inspector), Paul van der Zouwe, Dennis van Scheppingen, Emile Bleeker, Rinse de Jong, Danne Hekman, Zinzi Kemper
costume department Wim van Vliet (head), Farida Bouhbouh
hair & make-up David Verswijveren
set construction Kloosterboer
photography Dim Balsem, Fabian Calis
graphic design Serena Kloet


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