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.
World premiere Wednesday 1 April 2020 in deSingel Antwerp
Dutch premiere Thursday 7 May 2020 in ITA
Surtitled on Thursday the 7th and 14th of May
Ivo van Hove about Who Killed My Father
“It is a gripping story about a father who is reduced to a physical and mental wreck at the age of fifty after years of hard work in heavy industry in the north of France. It is just as much a furious indictment of the political elite as a declaration of love by a son to his father. Édouard Louis also writes about how he, as a young homosexual, was ostracized by his own working-class family. I will make a monologue for Hans Kesting from this brazen, brilliant text.”
- Ivo van Hove
A furious indictment of the political elite.
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.”
In France, the author Édouard Louis (1992) has been acclaimed as the greatest literary sensation since Michel Houellebecq. In his autobiographical literary debut The End of Eddy (En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule), he looked back on his tormented youth as a young gay man in the forgotten underclass of society: the north of France, which was ravaged by unemployment. Then came History of Violence (Histoire de la violence) where he tells about the night he was raped by the Algerian Reda, but he then refuses to press charges. It is a novel that explores the causes and effects of violence in an intimate, personal, and politically motivated manner.
In his work, Louis invites discussion about subjects such as class differences, racism, and homophobia. The author does not shy away from political statements: He stood firmly with the yellow vests movement and he took the fight directly to French President Macron: “My book rebels against who you are and what you do.
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.
Hans Kesting (1960) has been performing with the ensemble since 1987.
In season 19|20 he will perform in the premieres of Freud (director Ivo van Hove) and Who killed my father (director Ivo van Hove) and the revivals of A little life, Falling man, Oedipus, Ibsen house, Kings of War (Louis d'Or) and Roman Tragedies (nomination Louis d'Or).
after the book by Édouard Louis
translation, adaptation and direction Ivo van Hove
with Hans Kesting
scenography and lighting Jan Versweyveld
costumes An D'Huys
music George Dhauw
co-producer deSingel Antwerp
private producer Jeroen van Ingen and Jaap Kooijman, Bertil van Kaam