ITA Ensemble

Penthesilea

Penthesilea
03 Aug '24 to 06 Aug '24
ITA ensemble / Eline Arbo

Penthesilea by Heinrich von Kleist is considered one of the masterpieces of the world theatre repertoire. In this searing drama about a fatal love, a blistering passion churns unstoppably to the surface. Kleist himself wrote about it: 'My innermost being is to be found in it, the whole filth and loftiness of my soul.'

Location Edinburgh International Festival

Run time 125 minutes
Genre theatre
Language Dutch

Please note: the performance uses stroboscopic lighting effects.

Penthesilea


Penthesilea is the queen of the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors. They were only allowed to reproduce with men whom they had defeated in battle. During the Trojan War, the Amazons do not fight against the Greeks to help the besieged Trojans, but only to capture soldiers. When Amazon queen Penthesilea and the Greek army commander Achilles come face to face on the battlefield, it is love at first sight. From that moment on, Penthesilea will do anything to defeat him.
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Eline Arbo won the 2020 Regieprijs with her adaptation of Weg met Eddy Bellegueule. Last season she directed the hit performance De jaren, based on the book by the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for literature Annie Ernaux. For ITA she previously directed The Hours based on the novel by Michael Cunningham. Since September 2023, Eline Arbo is Artistic Director at ITA.

Eline Arbo photographed by Geert Boertjes.

Eline Arbo about Penthesilea

Kleist knows how to translate the age-old conflict between man and woman into a moving love story with complex characters. The meeting between Penthesilea and Achilles plunges them both into an existential crisis. She represents a hopeful, new form of love. And yet they fail to get together. They underestimate each other, and the consequences are horrific. The play is therefore more than a story about the difference between man and woman. It reveals how we internalise the norms and values ​​of our own culture. Kleist wrote a dramatic piece with a tragic ending. But the real tragedy is that in the society Penthesilea and Achilles live in, there is no room for their version of love.'

CAST

Language NP Language no problem Ilke Paddenburg Ilke Paddenburg
Language NP Language no problem Jesse Mensah Jesse Mensah
Language NP Language no problem Marieke Heebink Marieke Heebink
Language NP Language no problem Maarten Heijmans Maarten Heijmans
Language NP Language no problem Maria Kraakman Maria Kraakman
Language NP Language no problem Eefje Paddenburg Eefje Paddenburg
Language NP Language no problem Steven Van Watermeulen Steven Van Watermeulen
Language NP Language no problem Daphne Agten Daphne Agten
Language NP Language no problem Felix Schellekens Felix Schellekens
Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons
Achilles, Greek army commander
Diana, high priestess of the Amazons
Odysseus, Greek army commander, friend of Achilles
Prothoe, Amazon, lover of Penthesilea
Diomedes, captain of the Greek army
Antilochus, Greek army commander
Melanippe, Amazon
Meroe, Amazon
Collectively, the actors are also the narrators of the tragic love story of Penthesilea and Achilles.

In the press

NRC

‘Penthesilea is a ravishing performance and a new highlight in Arbo's oeuvre.’

Trouw

‘Eline Arbo puts a mark of her own on Penthesilea.’

Theaterkrant (Critic's Choice)

‘Arbo's Penthesilea proves to be the most vital love tragedy since Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.’

DIGITAL BROCHURE

Read more about the production's author, direction, music, scenography and costumes in our digital brochure.

TO THE BROCHURE
Eline Arbo photographed by Geert Boertjes
Eline Arbo
Director
Eline Arbo

Eline Arbo is Artistic Director at ITA since September 2023. From 2022 she was already linked to ITA as Associate Artistic Director. From January 2023, Arbo was appointed Ibsen Artist in Residence, an initiative of the Philip Loubser Foundation, which gives directors with an international ambition the opportunity to develop themselves artistically.

In season 24|25, she will create Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin) and The Wall (Marlen Haushofer); re-make The End of Eddy (Édouard Louis) and The Years (Annie Ernaux), which she previously directed elsewhere; and her stagings of The Laws (Connie Palmen), Prima Facie (Suzie Miller), Penthesilea (Heinrich von Kleist) and The Hours (Michael Cunningham) will be reprised.

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CREDITS


by Heinrich von Kleist
directed by Eline Arbo
composition and musical direction Thijs van Vuure
adaptation Eline Arbo, Bart Van den Eynde
translation Gerrit Komrij
dramaturgy Bart Van den Eynde
scenography Pascal Leboucq
light design Varja Klosse
sound design Dennis Slot
costumes Alva Brosten
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private producer Jeroen van Ingen and Jaap Kooijman, Bertil van Kaam
supported by Ammodo
this production is supported by the Philip Loubser Foundation within Eline Arbo's Ibsen Artist in Residency

This performance is supported by

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