who killed my father
Ivo van Hove adapted Who Killed My Father, by literary sensation Édouard Louis, for the stage. Van Hove turned the very outspoken book into a monologue, especially for Hans Kesting.
duration 1 hour 25 minutes
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
'Merciless and moving portrait.' - de Volkskrant ★★★★
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 20|21, he will be directing Age of Rage and his productions Who Killed My Father, Kings of war, Roman tragedies, The hidden force and The things that pass will be reprised as ITALives
Hans Kesting (1960) has been performing with the ensemble since 1987.
In season 19|20 he will perform in the premieres of Age of Rage (directed by Ivo van Hove) and Flight 49 (directed by Simon Stone), in the revivals of The things that pass and Who Killed My Father and in the ITALives of Who Killed my father, The hidden force, Kings of war, Roman tragedies, Oedipus and The things that pass.
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
assistant director Olivier Diepenhorst
assistant scenography Bart van Merode
production Inge Zeilinga, Edith den Hamer (hoofd)
head of technique & production department Reyer Meeter
stage manager Kevin Cuijvers, Bart Coenen, Zinzi Kemper, Manon van Nouland, Dennis van Scheppingen
costume department Farida Bouhbouh, Wim van Vliet (hoofd)
fotography Jan Versweyveld