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The Damned by Ivo van Hove and the Comédie-Française at Park Avenue Armory

© Jan Versweyveld / coll.Comédie-Française

Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove unleashes his visionary creativity at Park Avenue Armory with the prestigious Comédie-Française for the North American premiere of his adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s desperately dark drama The Damned. The historic walls of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall form the backdrop for this remarkable production, which employs cameramen prowling amongst the actors to catch close ups of key moments that are projected on massive screens amongst the minimalist set to create scenography that borders on installation art.

Using the screenplay rather than Visconti’s film as a starting point, van Hove traces the disintegration of the wealthy Essenbeck family and their steel dynasty during the seizure of power of the Nazis in 1933 in Germany, reflecting the ideological debauchery of a society ready to make the most venomous alliances for the benefit of its sole economic interests. This sharply drawn familial chronicle combines intrigue and ambition with betrayal and murder in the insidious struggle for power, and the corruption of relationships echoes the cruelty and brutality of the political context—themes that have the makings of a great modern tragedy.

Based on Luchino ViscontiNicola Badalucco, and Enrico Medioli’s Work
Ivo van Hove, Director
Jan Versweyveld, Scenography and Lighting Designer
An D’Huys, Costume Designer
Tal Yarden, Video Designer
Eric Sleichim, Original Sound Designer and Sound Concept
Bart van den Eynde, Dramaturgy

Performed in French with English supertitles. This production contains scenes that may be inappropriate for young audiences.

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A Comédie-Française Production presented in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory and with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.