The good hope
Australian director Simon Stone presents a radical adaptation of the ultimate Dutch drama classic Op hoop van zegen (The good hope). He relocates the fishing village of the original play to the arrival hall of an airport, where family and friends await the return of their loved ones at the moment the plane disappears from the radar. With fast, razor-sharp dialogue, Stone transforms this classic play into a story from and about our time.
The good hope (Op hoop van zegen) by Herman Heijermans (1900) is one of the most famous plays in the Netherlands. It is seen primarily by many as an indictment of a society in which the cold profit principle leads to deaths of many people. An early 20th-century fishing village hands over its fathers and sons to the reckless practices of a money-hungry shipowner who is not so keen on boat safety regulations. The play is also a beautiful portrait of a community that has learned to live with the sacrifices and loss of life and conforms to the will of God.
Simon Stone creates a radical adaptation. In the arrival hall of an airport, relatives and friends wait for the return of their loved ones as the plane disappears from the radar. Surrendered to the scraps of information from the authorities and the internet, they await the confirmation of their worst nightmare. Desperation and anger take hold of them.
During the play, the relatives and friends are given contours when their past and their relationship with the victims are sketched in short scenes. A kaleidoscopic journey into the lives of dozens of men and women who end up on each other's path through fate and try to deal with loss and unfulfilled dreams.
The memorial at the end of the performance is theater in its most basic form: vulnerable characters open up to the audience in monologues and try to articulate what binds us: the need for love and a deep sense of life as an exercise in saying goodbye.
Australian writer and director Simon Stone (1984) is a unique voice in international theater. He is best known for his contemporary adaptations of classical texts and he quickly became a welcome guest at festivals in Europe. For ITA he adapted Medea (Euripides) and created Ibsen house, based on various pieces by the Norwegian master. This four-hour family drama was embraced by the press and the public at the Avignon Festival. He also directed ITA's ensemble in Woody Allen's Husbands and wives.
In his adaptations Stone strips the original to its essence and places the moral dilemmas and themes within a contemporary context. His characters are recognizable, doubting, seeking people in extreme circumstances. Simon Stone is praised for his razor-sharp dialogues, his humor, the intensity of acting and his inventive directorial style in which abstraction and hyperrealism go hand in hand in an exciting way.
Stone is now active in the opera circuit as well and has just completed his second feature film. After the well received The Daughter, based on Ibsens The Wild Duck, he now created The Dig, a historical drama starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes. The film was produced by Netflix and can be seen in cinemas in the fall of 2020.
Australian director, actor and writer Simon Stone (1984) is one of the most acclaimed theatre-makers in the international circuit.
after Herman Heijermans
text and direction Simon Stone
with Joy Delima, Janni Goslinga, Maarten Heijmans, Hugo Koolschijn, Achraf Koutet, Maria Kraakman, Chris Nietvelt, Ilke Paddenburg, Bart Slegers
dramaturgy Peter van Kraaij
scenography Bob Cousins
light design James Farncombe
sound design Stefan Gregory
assistant director Daniel ’t Hoen, Sally Merres
co-production deSingel Antwerpen, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
private producer Rob and Mirjam van den Bergh, Hendrik Jan ten Have and Gabriella de Rooij, Willem and Paula van der Schoot-van Voorst
program partner Ammodo
photography Jan Versweyveld
production leader Michiel van Schijndel
publicity Joris van den Ring-Bax