who killed my father
'Merciless and moving portrait.' - de Volkskrant ★★★★
Ivo van Hove adapted Who Killed My Father, by internationally acclaimed writer Édouard Louis, for the stage. Van Hove turned the very outspoken book into a monologue, especially for Hans Kesting.
Location De Singel, Antwerp
Run time 85 minutes
Who killed my father
The anger-soaked Who killed my father is written in the form a letter to his father. Louis found his inspiration in a visit he paid to his father after not seeing him for some time, finding him almost unrecognizable. The man had become ill and aged prematurely, the result of a life marked by alcohol, social deprivation, hard work, and an industrial accident. Louis explains this to the elite, for whom politics is primarily an 'aesthetic issue': they engage in politics that has virtually no influence on their lives. The underclass, on the other hand, is devastated by cutbacks in benefits.
According to the French weekly L'Opinion, the book is read in the Élysée - the official residence of the French president. Louis' diagnosis would align perfectly with Emmanuel Macron's. The writer himself sees it very differently. "My book is against who you are and what you do," he tweeted to Macron. "I write to disgrace you.”
Ivo van Hove on Who killed my father
'A gripping story about a father who at the age of fifty is a physical and mental wreck because of the hard work in the heavy industry of northern France. It is both a furious indictment of the political elite and a son's declaration of love to his father. Édouard Louis also writes about how, as a young homosexual, he was condemned to be an outcast by his own working-class family. With this cheeky, brilliant text I made a monologue for Hans Kesting'.
'Who killed my father is a merciless and moving portrait of an underprivileged man, in a milieu where poverty and drunkenness are passed from father to son.'
'Intense and beautifully performed by Kesting, who effortlessly switches from a sick old man to a young boy yearning for his father's attention.'
'Kesting plays his character accurately, vulnerably and tormented. Also striking is the physical transformation when he plays the father - crooked back, sagging stomach and gurgling in dense cigarette smoke. Just before that he danced expectantly like a young child to Aqua's 'Barbie Girl'.'
'Vulnerable and strongly played solo.'
With his autobiographical debut novel Weg met Eddy Bellegueule (Away with Eddy Bellegueule) Louis looked back on his tormented youth as a young gay man in the forgotten underclass of society: unemployment-ridden Northern France. This was followed by History of Violence, in which he recounts the night he was raped and then refused to press charges. It is a novel that explores the causes and consequences of violence in an intimate, personal and politically driven way. With his work, Louis stirs up discussions on class differences, racism and homophobia. The author does not shy away from speaking out politically: he joined in the yellow shirts movement and took up a fight with the French president Macron: 'My book opposes who you are and what you do.'
Ivo van Hove has been director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam since 2001.
In season 22|23, he will be directing My Heavenly Favourite (Marieke Lucas Rijneveld) at ITA and his directing of Age of rage, A little life, The Damned, Battles and metamorphoses of a woman, Kings of War and Who killed my father will be reprised.
Hans Kesting (1960) has been performing with the ITA-ensemble since 1987.
In season 22|23 he will perform in the premieres of My heavenly favourite (director Ivo van Hove) and Blood wedding (director Wim Vandekeybus) and in the revivals of Who killed my father, Judas, Age of rage, Kings of war, A little life and The Damned.
based on the book by Édouard Louis
translation, adaptation and direction Ivo van Hove
with Hans Kesting
stage design and light Jan Versweyveld
costumes An D'Huys
music George Dhauw
co-producer deSingel Antwerp
private producer Jeroen van Ingen and Jaap Kooijman, Bertil van Kaam
assistant director Olivier Diepenhorst
scene design assistance Bart van Merode
production Inge Zeilinga, Edith den Hamer (head)
chief technician Reyer Meeter
technique Kevin Cuijvers, Bart Coenen, Zinzi Kemper, Manon van Nouland, Dennis van Scheppingen
costume workshop Farida Bouhbouh, Wim van Vliet (head)
photography Jan Versweyveld