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.”
Festival Holland Festival
Run time tba
Surtitles English, Thu June 22
In Gesprek Fri June 16, 23
Opening night Sun June 18
The Amazons are a nation of exclusively female warriors. They were allowed to procreate only with men who had been defeated by them in battle. In the Trojan War they do not fight against the Greeks to help the beleaguered Trojans, but rather to capture soldiers. When the 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 does everything in her power to defeat him.
With her adaptation of Weg met Eddy Bellegueule, Eline Arbo won the 2020 Director’s Prize. The following year, she directed The Hours, based on the book by Michael Cunningham, for ITA.
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.”
After the performance, come and think, listen and chat at In Gesprek. We invite a guest to further explore the themes of Penthesilea and to exchange experiences. If you have any questions, this is the perfect time to ask them. In Gesprek is free of charge and starts shortly after the performance in one of our foyers, is conducted in Dutch and lasts about half an hour.
Since 2022 Eline Arbo is Associate Artistic Director at ITA. From January ‘23, Arbo will be 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 22|23 her direction of Penthesilea (Heinrich von Kleist) will premiere at ITA and her direction of The Hourswill be reprised.
directed by Eline Arbo
text Heinrich von Kleist
translation Gerrit Komrij
adaptation Eline Arbo, Bart Van den Eynde
dramaturgy Bart Van den Eynde
scenography Pascal Leboucq
costumes Alva Brosten
light design Varja Klosse
music Thijs van Vuure
private producer Jeroen van Ingen and Jaap Kooijman, Bertil van Kaam
supported by Ammodo
-|-assistant director Daniël 't Hoen, Zorba Huisman
casting advice Hans Kemna
publicity Iris Istha