De Dingen die voorbijgnaan

The Things That Pass

Based on Louis Couperus

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2018 archive

Ivo van Hove


A tragedy engulfing three generations about the way emotions can ignite when stifled by silence for too long.

De Dingen die voorbijgnaan © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


At the heart of the play, two old lovers are waiting for death, convinced that no one knows the horrible secret that binds them together. Their children and grandchildren are trying in vain to free themselves from it: the burden of family always get passed down, even in hidden ways. Of the rigid society of The Hague Louis Couperus described in his novel, Ivo van Hove keeps the stifling atmosphere and the tragic aspect. The stage is a waiting room or a purgatory, a place of disillusionment, an abyss in which buried feelings are either reined in or unleashed. The resonating beat of a clock tells the time, a race whose end is inevitable... Dressed all in black, the characters are like an ancient chorus, carrying within themselves an anxiety that squeezes them like a vice, obstructs all desires, and asphyxiates their dreams. Their emotions are sometimes delicate, but they remain first and foremost raw, often abrasive, without pity for this family caught in their own trap. Ivo van Hove, fascinated by Couperus's so modern intuitions, has chosen to explore how one can escape one's destiny and legacy. Can there be no other form of relationship left to invent, outside of the classic model of the family?

A poet and writer, Louis Couperus (1863-1923) is a major figure in Dutch literature. His psychological novels, influenced by the naturalism of Zola and Flaubert, offered harsh criticism of the rigoristic society of The Hague and focused on the fin de siècle themes of destiny, decline, and decadence.


With Katelijne Damen, Fred Goessens, Janni Goslinga, Aus Greidanus jr., Abke Haring, Robert de Hoog, Hugo Koolschijn, Maria Kraakman, Majd Mardo, Celia Nufaar, Frieda Pittoors, Luca Savazzi,
Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Bart Slegers, Eelco Smits

Text Louis Couperus
Adaptation Koen Tachelet
Direction Ivo van Hove
Dramaturgy Peter Van Kraaij
Choregraphy Koen Augustijnen
Music Harry de Wit
Stage design, lights Jan Versweyveld
Video Theunis Zijlstra
Costumes An D'Huys


Production Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Toneelhuis
Coproduction Ruhrtriennale
With the support of Ammodo, Jeroen van Ingen et Jaap Kooijman, Joost Houtman et Jeffrey Ong, Rob et Marijke van Oordt, et pour la 72e édition du Festival d'Avignon : Dutch Performing Arts

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