Battles and metamorphoses of a woman


Battles and metamorphoses of a woman



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Battles and metamorphoses of a woman
ITA-ensemble / Ivo van Hove

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.

Duration 90 minutes, no intermission
Language Dutch

What happened in those years since the photo was taken? This is the starting point of Édouard Louis' new book, which is being 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 Wie heeft mijn vader vermoord, the book of the father, Édouard Louis writes the book of 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 on Gevechten en metamorfosen van een vrouw

“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.”

In the press

Heebink and Mardo play truly enchanting' - de Volkskrant

Marieke Heebink makes a beautiful portrait of the slaving mother' - Haarlems Dagblad

Wonderful performance by Heebink, who will certainly receive - yet another - nomination for the Theo d'Or (best theatre actress). - De Standaard

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. - NRC

And there she is: the mother, splendidly personified by Marieke Heebink' - de Volkskrant

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. - De Standaard

Beautiful role by Marieke Heebink' - NRC


after the book 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
communication Kornelis van der Krieke


To visit this performance you need a valid COVID admission ticket. This can be a negative test result, a vaccination certificate or proof that you have recovered from corona (proof of recovery). You must convert one of these into a QR code in the CoronaCheck app or a print via Only then will you have a valid COVID admission ticket.



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