11 Sep '19 to 20 Jun '20

La voix humaine

ITA–Ensemble

The tickets for performances of The human voice in June are sold out. We will inform you as soon as possible about the performances in the new season 20/21.

With The human voice (La voix humaine), Jean Cocteau wrote the ultimate farewell monologue. A woman speaks to her ex on the phone in a last attempt to undo their breakup. Gradually, she realizes that he has chosen another lover for good. This moving monologue premiered in 2009 and has since then travelled around the world. It was performed in New York, Paris, Toronto, Dublin, St-Petersburg, Sydney, Barcelona and Hong Kong.

playing: 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20 June 2020
with: Halina Reijn
duration 1:10
premiere: 12 Feb 2009

About the play

In Jean Cocteau’s play La voix humaine (The human voice), a lone actress talks on the phone to a lover she has broken up with. She keeps getting interrupted by a bad connection – the piece was written in 1930, but anybody who has ever experienced a lost signal will empathize. For about an hour, the unnamed woman goes through a rollercoaster of emotions as she addresses the man who left her, and herself. It is uncommonly, uncomfortably voyeuristic, even for theatre.

Ivo van Hove drives the point home by placing his performer, Halina Reijn, in a small boxlike room and behind a big glass window, through which the audience scrutinizes her. It feels as if she is imprisoned in her own apartment, and at times she roams her limited space like a caged animal. Halina Reijn takes the audience with her in the sorrow of this woman and her fight with the imminent void.

‘The text turned out to be so recognizable and accessible that I got caught up in this woman’s story from the first day of rehearsal. Much of it seemed to have been taken from my own life. It is not just a love story, but above all a desperate cry for the right to exist.’ – Halina Reijn

Halina Reijn
Actor
Halina Reijn

Halina Reijn (1975) has been a member of the ensemble since 2003.

In season 19|20 she will perform in the revivals of Husbands and wives and La voix humaine.

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Press

‘Halina Reijn’s performance of Cocteau’s tragic heroine is a scream into the existential abyss.’ - Time Out Sydney

‘Rich, and penetrating acting.’ - NRC

‘A spare, raw, enormously affecting production, brought to incisive life by Halina Reijn.’ - The Village Voice

'Eye-opening and haunting' - Theatermania.com

'Van Hove’s staging begins and ends with the inspired set, inside which Reijn unfurls a physical performance as unselfconscious as it is uncompromising' - New York Post

Ivo van Hove
Director
Ivo van Hove

Ivo van Hove has been director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam since 2001.

In season 19|20, he will be directing Freud (coproduction FC Bergman) and Who killed my father (Edouard Louis) and his productions A little life, Death in Venice, After the rehearsal / Persona, La voix humaine, Kings of war and Roman Tragedies will be reprised.

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Credits

text Jean Cocteau
director Ivo van Hove
with Halina Reijn
translation Peter van Kraaij, Halina Reijn
dramaturge Peter van Kraaij
scenografie, lightingdesign Jan Versweyveld

Avec l’aimable autorisation de M. Pierre Bergé, président du Comité Jean Cocteau.

More ITA-ensemble in June 2020

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01 Jun '20 to 23 Aug '20
Ivo van Hove adapts Who Killed My Father, by literary sensation Édouard Louis, for the stage. Van Hove turns the very outspoken book into a monologue, especially for Hans Kesting.
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