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Kings of War

Nov 29, 2018 - Dec 1, 2018
Venue:National Theater (No.21-1, Zhongshan S. Rd.)

Ivo van Hove, the world-renowned theater director, and Internationaal Theater Amsterdam visit Taiwan for the third time, bringing with them Kings of War, one of the most important and internationally well-received works of the company so far, after winning standing ovations with Othello and The Fountainhead in his previous trips. Ivo van Hove combines three Shakespeare's texts, Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III, into a single play to explore leadership and leaders' charisma. Kings of War emphasizes neither the historical background of the war between England and France nor the power struggles within the royal family, but instead focuses on the three kings who ruled England during the wartime as well as their ruling styles when confronted with the ultimate decision upon national crises. Will they reign from a feeling of empathy and justice, or on the contrary, be led by unbridled lust for power?
Scenographer Jan Versweyveld, long-term partner of the director, draws his inspiration from Winston Churchill's war room and constructs a space of secret chamber with multiple references according to the changes of its layout. Realtime and pre-recorded video footages intertwine with the setting and plots, enriching the narrative perspectives and also sharply pinpointing the core of dramatic conflicts. Eric Sleichim, the composer for The Fountainhead, designs the soundtrack of ceremonial moments with apocalysptic sound impressions of war and chaos to depict the mental landscapes of the three kings.through the headphones. It aims to explore how the audiences' movements help create the visual and audio perceptions and how the perceptions contribute to building an atmosphere of intimacy in the public domain.
In an era where the line between public and private domains gradually blurs and dissolves, the form of theater is also renovated continuously. Roland Auzet's immersing sound theater would make you re-consider the distance and relationship between individuals, space and society through overhearing the dialogues and private conversations of desires via headphones.